R. Luke DuBois presented a generative composition for musicians that used data sets and real-time information as the basis for its score on Friday, November 20, 2015 in the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery.
Click here to view the full album on Flickr. Photos by Sandy Aldieri of Perceptions Photography.
The Center for the Arts is one of the rare places in the state where you can consistently experience arts from around the world. This semester is no exception. In January and February, the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery hosts the work of ten contemporary Chinese artists born after the Cultural Revolution who are challenging traditional notions of Chinese identity and inventing new ways to shout out in the global arena. In February, Syrian singer Gaida brings her band to Crowell Concert Hall. At a time when her country is under siege, her soulful voice will remind us of the beauty and power of Syrian music and culture. And playwright Guillermo Calderón will discuss his award-winning works about Chile in the aftermath of the dictatorship.
Finally, the Music Department will host a March symposium on the work of the legendary experimental music composer David Tudor and, in April, the Theater Department offers Wes Out-Loud, a site-specific work created by Assistant Professor Marcela Oteíza and her students.
The semester ends on May 7 with Feet to the Fire: Riverfront Encounter, the second annual eco-arts festival featuring world music bands, educational exhibits, and site-specific performance works by area organizations at Middletown’s Harbor Park, located on the bank of the Connecticut River.
Genre-defying composer, artist, and performer R. Luke DuBois utilizes data to create maps, scores, and videos that explore subjects including the Iraq War and the census; and that raise questions of artistic agency, privacy, and fair use. Organized as a database of his projects and concerns, the exhibition R. Luke DuBois: In Real Time is the first major gallery presentation of his work and includes recent and commissioned pieces that take as their basis real-time data flows, topical statistics, and contemporary media footage. The gallery opened on September 16, 2015 in the Main Gallery, Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery.
Click Here to view the full album on Flickr. Photos by Sandy Aldieri of Perceptions Photography.
This year, we are looking forward to introducing you to artists who are asking important questions about our world today, questioning why things are the way they are, and helping us to envision how they might be.
At a time when our country is struggling to find its way in terms of race relations, we’ve invited writer/performer Daniel Beaty to campus for a residency that includes the October 9 performance of Mr. Joy, his highly acclaimed tour de force solo show about a community’s efforts to heal in order to dream again.
Composer, visual artist, and new media innovator R. Luke DuBois takes over the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery from September 16 through December 13 with his exhibition In Real Time, creating maps, scores, and videos that use real-time data flows and media footage to raise questions of artistic agency, privacy, and fair use. In time for the election season, the CFA has commissioned him to create a new work using research generated by the Wesleyan Media Project.
All this shares the fall schedule with performances by faculty and students, including the final class performance by students of Adjunct Professor of Music Abraham Adzenyah, who is retiring after teaching Ghanaian drumming at Wesleyan for the past 45 years. You won’t want to miss that concert on December 4.
As always, we hope you will look to the CFA as a place of enlightenment and enjoyment in the months ahead.
Zilkha Gallery showcased the work of the Class of 2015’s thesis students in the Department of Art and Art History’s Art Studio Program. Each student was invited to select a single work from their Senior Thesis Exhibition for this year-end showcase of drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, sculpture, mixed media, and architecture curated by Professor of Art Tula Telfair P’13. Ms. Telfair talked about the exhibition on May 23, 2015 in the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery. Co-sponsored by University Relations. Click here to view the full album on flickr. Images by Sandy Aldieri of Perceptions Photography.
The reception for seniors Luca Ameri, Raphael A. Leitz, Dat Vu, and Derrick Qi Wang in the Art Studio Program of Wesleyan’s Department of Art and Art History, took place on March 25, 2015, in the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery. Images by Sandy Aldieri of Perceptions Photography. Click here to view the full album on flickr.
The opening reception for the Middletown Public Schools Art Exhibition took place on March 7, 2015, at the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery. The exhibition ran from March 7 through March 14. Images by Sandy Aldieri of Perceptions Photography. Click here to view the full album on flickr.
CFA Arts Administration Intern Chloe Jones ’15 talks to Miranda Orbach ’15, Eriq Robinson ’15, and Virgil Taylor ’15 about their theses in Dance, Music, and Studio Art.
With the deadline for theses this Friday, April 10, 2015, Wesleyan seniors from all different majors are hunkering down across campus to complete the projects they have dedicated their year to. Thesis writers in Dance, Music, and Studio Art are presenting their work at the Center for the Arts every week through the end of the semester.
Featuring new works by eight choreographers, the Spring Senior Thesis Dance Concert took place last weekend in the Patricelli ’92 Theater. Closing the first half of the concert was Miranda Orbach’s form[all] training, a piece in partial fulfillment of her honors thesis in American Studies and Dance.
Ms. Orbach’s written thesis, “Monstrous Form: the Ballerina and the Freak,” draws the ballet and the freak show together to examine how each distinct performance mirrors the other. Her thesis reads the ballet through the lens of the freak show, and the freak show through the lens of the ballet.
“Historically we have separated these forms so far away from each other,” says Ms. Orbach. “Bringing them together actually allows us to intervene in the literature about both of them. It’s not that they are the same, but that they are useful for reading each other, as spectacle, body, and display are central themes to both performances.”
In her thesis, Ms. Orbach tells the story of one ballerina: Caroline Shadle ’16, who performs in the piece with two other female dancers. They dance with one foot in a pointe shoe and one barefoot to a sound score that narrates Ms. Shadle’s story, giving powerful insight into the life of an aspiring ballerina.
“The feeling of freakishness is not so far from the feeling of being trained,” says Ms. Orbach. “The two work in tandem. All of these categories that we oppose so starkly in society—form and deformity, ability and disability—are actually inherent to each other.”
Eriq Robinson’s senior recital, Reality Ends Here: The Beginning of the End, will take place this Thursday, April 9, 2015 at 7pm in Fayerweather Beckham Hall. The recital, featuring a vocal ensemble and a horn ensemble, is one component of Mr. Robinson’s thesis in Music. The vocal ensemble is inspired by South African overtone singing, the music of the Japanese Ainu, and Slavei, an a cappella group on campus that performs Slavic, Balkan, and Georgian liturgical music.
“The performance is a narrative story telling experience with music, based on a cosmological structure that I made up myself,” says Mr. Robinson. His cosmological structure is based on ideas from Buddhism and other Eastern religions, as well as Abrahamic religions and some African religions.
“It’s a story about the beginning of the end of the world,” he explains. “The idea is that humans are the nerve endings of the cosmos. We are all just the end of invisible tendrils that are the cosmos, all part of a giant macro organism.”
In the written component of his thesis, Mr. Robinson gives a short history of Afro-Futurism and attempts to determine if his music fits into that creative lineage.
“Because I’m making up a cosmological structure, I’ve been trying to make music that doesn’t sound familiar,” he says. “The hardest part about it has been trying to make music that sounds unfamiliar, while at the same time not making bad music. What I think makes music good, on an objective level, is having some sort of system and methodology that’s tying it all together.”
Mr. Robinson plans to continue writing his story even after the recital, and hopes this will be the first in a series of performances.
Studio Art major Virgil Taylor’s thesis, Irregular Quadrilateral, will be on display in the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery from Tuesday, April 14 through Sunday, April 19, 2015; with an opening reception on Wednesday, April 15, 2015 from 4pm to 6pm.
After receiving a Zawisa fellowship from the Wesleyan Studio Art Department last spring, Mr. Taylor travelled to Albuquerque, New Mexico in the summer to study metal plate lithography at the Tamarind Institute. The youngest person in the program, both of his roommates were university professors.
When Mr. Taylor returned to Wesleyan this past fall, he realized he wanted to shift the focus of his thesis from lithography to intaglio prints. Intaglio refers to a printmaking process in which the image is carved into the plate with acid, a scribe, or a needle.
“Even though I did not end up doing my thesis in lithography, I think my work at the Tamarind Institute this summer really informed me on how to think about compositions,” says Mr. Taylor. “It was an opportunity to spend four weeks doing nothing but printmaking.”
His exhibition will fill Zilkha Gallery with intaglio prints of irregular quadrilaterals, which look like rectangles in perspective. In addition, he has created a large-scale composition resembling his prints that will occupy the back bay of the gallery—a 24 foot long piece of steel painted blue will mirror the many blue lines in his prints, and an eight foot tall drywall panel will appear in the shape of one of his plates.
“I’m interested in work that doesn’t require or desire any explicit content, or really any implicit content, but exists as a formal space,” says Mr. Taylor. “That’s why I like being able to make the giant version, because I can emphasize that it’s simply an arrangement of forms.”
An artist talk at CFA Hall with dancer/choreographer Eiko Otake and photographer William Johnston about their collaboration for the exhibition A Body in Fukushima was followed by a walking tour of the exhibition at the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery, Davison Art Center, and College of East Asian Studies Gallery at Mansfield Freeman Center, with a reception in each location, on Thursday, February 5, 2015. Images by Sandy Aldieri of Perceptions Photography. Click here to view the entire album on flickr .
CFA Arts Administration Intern Chloe Jones ’15 talks with Assistant Professor of Art Sasha Rudensky about the “Picture/Thing” exhibition, which opens in the Main Gallery of Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery on Thursday, January 29, 2015. Admission to the gallery is free.
These ten artists create hybrid objects that challenge and expand traditional definitions of photography and sculpture. The objects in the exhibition take myriad forms, as each artist has a unique approach to material, technology, and presentation.
Upon entering the gallery, one is greeted by the work of Erin Shirreff. “Hers are digital prints that have been placed in somewhat traditional frames,” says co-curator Ms. Rudensky. “But when you look closer you discover this whole other reality. For one thing the paper is not flat. It’s three dimensional, and what she’s capturing are sculptures, or forms that are very reminiscent of mid-century sculpture, so she’s playing with this lateral movement back and forth between photography and sculpture.”
Turning around one sees a free-standing “picture/thing” by Anouk Kruithof. Its styrofoam blocks and iridescent glass glisten. “It’s a very mysterious piece,” says Ms. Rudensky. “In part because as you walk around it, the view and the content change dramatically. Because of the play of light that happens with the reflectedness of the materials she’s using, there’s this revelatory experience that continues as you circumnavigate the piece.”
Venturing further into the gallery, one encounters the work of Mariah Robertson. “She’s someone who works with traditional photographic processes,” says Ms. Rudensky. “She makes darkroom prints in a time when very few people are making darkroom prints, but then does these wild things with them by making 164 foot photographs that are suspended in space.”
Picture/Thing transforms the gallery into a world of rare objects. Each artist’s work is stunningly different from the next.
While most of the artists hail from Brooklyn and Harlem, their work speaks to a far-reaching trend in contemporary art.
“The idea for the exhibition came together rather quickly, in part because the phenomenon is very much there and present,” says Ms. Rudensky. “Artists are looking for new ways of dealing with traditional media.”
Picture/Thing will be on display in the Main Gallery of the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery through Sunday, March 1, 2015.
Interested to hear Ms. Rudensky speak in more detail about the exhibition? She and co-curator Jeffrey Schiff will give a talk at 5:30pm this Thursday, January 29 as part of the exhibition’s opening reception.