THAT EXAMINE ISSUES OF HISTORY, GEOGRAPHY, AND CULTURAL IDENTITY
Clinton, NY—In early 2018, the Wellin Museum of Art at Hamilton College will present concurrent exhibitions that aim to generate dialogues around world issues including but not limited to history, geography, boundaries, immigration, citizenship, community, and culture. This Place explores the contested spaces of Israel and the West Bank through the eyes of 12 acclaimed photographers from around the world who present various perspectives on the region. Margarita Cabrera: Space in Between examines the relationship between the U.S. and Latin America, presenting the stories of people from throughout Latin America who have crossed the border between the U.S. and Mexico. Both exhibitions will be on view at the Wellin from February 10 through June 10, 2018.
Tracy Adler, Johnson-Pote Director, Wellin Museum of Art, notes: “As a teaching museum within a liberal arts college, the Wellin is uniquely positioned to exhibit artworks that address challenging subjects and can serve as a point of departure for an open dialogue about the political and cultural climate today, on both a global and local level. This involves visiting artists, scholars, and curators engaging with faculty, students and the community in an exchange of ideas that supports an understanding of differing perspectives. BothThis Place and Margarita Cabrera: Space in Between incorporate pedagogical approaches to explore issues of community, identity, and history in two distinct parts of the world. These exhibitions are examples of how artists negotiate the difficulties presented by spaces that are fraught with complexities while taking into consideration multiple viewpoints and modes of expression.”
Exploring academic tie-ins that are created through artistic collaboration, the Wellin will present This Placeconcurrently with the Tang Teaching Museum at Skidmore College, the Picker Art Gallery at Colgate University, and the University Art Museum at the University at Albany, SUNY. The exhibition is made possible in part through a Teagle Foundation grant focusing on pedagogical collaborations in higher education. Robert Knight, associate professor of art, is the Hamilton College faculty liaison for the Teagle Foundation initiative. The exhibition is organized by independent curators Frédéric Brenner, Matthew Brogan, and Charlotte Cotton.
This Place explores Israel and the West Bank as both place and metaphor through the work of 12 photographers: Frédéric Brenner, Wendy Ewald, Martin Kollar, Josef Koudelka, Jungjin Lee, Gilles Peress, Fazal Sheikh, Stephen Shore, Rosalind Fox Solomon, Thomas Struth, Jeff Wall, and Nick Waplington. The exhibition is divided into four parts, hosted by the Wellin, the Tang, SUNY and Colgate. Artists whose work will be featured at the Wellin Museum include Frédéric Brenner, Wendy Ewald, Fazal Sheikh, andStephen Shore.
Between 2009 and 2012, each of the photographers in This Place spent an extended period of time in Israel and the West Bank. The photographers produced wide-ranging work, both in content and approach. Whether rendered as large-format color, black-and-white photographs, or documentary images that span pictorial genres of landscape, architecture, and portraiture, the works in This Place speak to the complexities of the region and to the expansiveness of photography itself.
The four host institutions exhibiting This Place are participating in a three-year project titled Teaching and Learning with Museum Exhibitions: An Inter-Institutional Approach, in which faculty and students engage cross-institutionally with museum exhibitions over several semesters. At the Wellin, the works in the exhibition will be placed alongside an experimental classroom in the Dietrich Exhibition Gallery entitled WellinWorks to explore new pedagogical approaches and curatorial issues.
This Place was previously exhibited at DOX Centre for Contemporary Art, Prague (October 24, 2014 –March 2, 2015); Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Tel Aviv (May 14 – September 6, 2015); Norton Museum of Art, Florida (October 15, 2015 – January 15, 2016); Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York (February 12 – June 5, 2016). For more information visit http://www.this-place.org/exhibitions/.
Space in Between is a collaboration between artist Margarita Cabrera, the Arizona State University Art Museum, and the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, Arizona. A continuation of Cabrera’s ongoing work with Latino communities, the project centers on the creation of artworks and promotion of cultural dialogues around community, craft, immigration, cultural identity, and labor. The works on view are fabric forms that resemble desert plants and incorporate stories—stitched into the material itself—of the often-harrowing experiences of Latin Americans crossing the U.S. border.
Space in Between uses traditional sewing and embroidery techniques from Los Tenangos, Hidalgo, Mexico, which employs colorful narrative traditions reflecting popular culture, traditional rituals, and myths of the Otomi indigenous communities. Sometimes appropriating, and other times reclaiming these techniques, immigrant workers relay their own personal border-crossing experiences. The title chosen by Cabrera is inspired by the term Nepantla, which is a Nahuatl Aztec Language term referencing “the space in the middle” as it relates to marginalized cultures and their resistance strategies for survival.
Space in Between was first presented as a workshop in early 2010 at BOX 13 Artspace in Houston, Texas and select works are currently on view as part of Prospect.4: The Lotus in Spite of the Swamp, the New Orleans triennial art exhibition. Participants in the workshop were immigrants to the United States from Mexico and Central America, who produced numerous sculptural replicas of desert plants indigenous to the Southwestern United States. Subsequent workshops took place in Charlotte, North Carolina, as part of The Knight Artist in Residence at the McColl Center for Visual Arts; at Santa Fe Art Institute; and in Phoenix at Combine Studio, with the collaboration of Arizona State University and Desert Botanical Gardens.
Margarita Cabrera was born in Monterrey, Mexico, and grew up in Mexico City, Salt Lake City, and El Paso, Texas. She received an MFA in Combined Media from Hunter College, CUNY. In 2012, she was a recipient of the Knight Artist in Residence at the McColl Center for Visual Art in Charlotte, North Carolina. Cabrera is also a recipient of the Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant, and the Artspace Residency. She is an Assistant Professor of Art at Arizona State University in Tempe.
Designed by Machado Silvetti, the Ruth and Elmer Wellin Museum of Art at Hamilton College opened in October 2012. Through its exhibitions, public programs, and educational outreach, the Museum promotes interdisciplinary approaches and the cross-fertilization of concepts and ideas vital to a liberal arts education. The Museum works with emerging and established artists and collaborates with Hamilton students and faculty to develop programming exploring a wide range of disciplines. The Museum features a 27-foot-high visible archive, 6,200-square-feet of exhibition space, and other amenities that foster common exchange and learning. http://www.hamilton.edu/wellin