Posts tagged ‘Social Studies’
Last week in The New York Times, Randy Kennedy, arts writer, took a look at something the ASU Art Museum has been thinking about for many years: socially engaged practice.
In an article entitled “Outside the Citadel, Social Practice Art Is Intended to Nurture,” Kennedy examines the history and current exploration of social practice, whose “practitioners freely blur the lines among object making, performance, political activism, community organizing, environmentalism and investigative journalism, creating a deeply participatory art that often flourishes outside the gallery and museum system.”
“Leading museums have largely ignored it,” Kennedy writes, “But many smaller art institutions see it as a new frontier for a movement whose roots stretch back to the 1960s but has picked up fervor through Occupy Wall Street and the rise of social activism among young artists.” He highlighted museums such as the Hammer Museum, the Walker Art Center, and the Queens Museum of Art, all of which are working to extend their reach in the socially engaged practice sphere.
ASU Art Museum has been focused on socially engaged practice for more than 5 years, with the launch of our Social Studies initiative in 2007, which provides opportunities for artists working in various media to interact creatively and collaboratively with students, other artists, and faculty and community members. The social interaction of the museum-as-artist’s-studio setting encourages participants to explore new avenues of creativity and ultimately enhance their understanding of their world and each other.
The museum has hosted several social practice artists to date as part of the Social Studies initiative, including Jarbas Lopes, Anila Rubiku, Jillian MacDonald, Gregory Sale, Jennifer Nelson and Julianne Swartz, among others. In 2012, the museum launched a new social practice speaker series as part of the Socially Engaged Practice Initiative at the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, and welcomed artist and dancer Elizabeth Johnson as the new Coordinator for Socially Engaged Practice for the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts. Johnson is building a socially engaged practice certificate/focus at HIDA, and is housed at the ASU Art Museum because of the museum’s work in this area.
If you’re curious about the history of the museum’s dedication to socially-engaged practice, take a look back at some of our blog posts showcasing the art and artists we’ve had the pleasure of working with: http://asuartmuseum.wordpress.com/category/social-studies-collaborative-projects/
For Kennedy’s full New York Times piece, visit: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/24/arts/design/outside-the-citadel-social-practice-art-is-intended-to-nurture.html
–Juno Schaser, PR Intern
Above: Elizabeth Johnson, second from left, takes part in the “Mother-Daughter Distance Dance” at the ASU Art Museum on April 2, 2011, as part of Gregory Sale’s exhibition It’s not just black and white.
Art is active. And for those like Elizabeth Johnson, it can move them in more ways than one.
As the Coordinator for Socially Engaged Practice at the museum, Johnson uses dance in order to organize collaborations, promote dialogue, and investigate pressing issues of our time.
Part of how she does this by harnessing people’s natural movement and putting shapes around questions that people then answer physically.
It’s not as abstract as you might think.
“We move to communicate all the time,” Johnson says. “We improvise every moment we have a conversation. We have an idea, we have a vision and we act on that vision or we don’t act on that vision. I just offer ways for people to show that. It’s a very fluid process.”
Before accepting this position, Johnson had never worked for a museum before. Having received her BFA in Dance from Connecticut College, Johnson traveled around the world organizing community engagement events and projects, as she says, in everyone’s community except her own.
Johnson explains working at the ASU Art Museum has made her rethink what a museum is — especially this museum: “I’ve never been a person who felt like I could concentrate with something still on the wall, as beautiful as it might be. Now that I’m in a museum, I’ve realized that a museum is a place that can hold ideas and is a place for the public, not just the people who know about art.”
Johnson’s work uses unique activities to connect with the community and have people think about artmaking and relationships formed through art. She bases her work on the idea that intangible social interactions can constitute the core of an artwork.
“That’s why I’m here,” she says.
When it comes to Socially Engaged Practice, Johnson explains she’s not just a planner but also a practitioner of the process: “There’s a lot of preparation that goes into collaborative events. I tend to set up things, but I also get involved with them. I facilitate and coordinate but I also practice and do. I get myself involved in a lot of interesting things.”
Through dance, Johnson creates meaningful cross-disciplinary collaborations and builds sustainable partnerships.
“What art can do is hold complexity,” she says. “And I kind of believe that when you bring your body into this, it brings out this human experience that we all have and gives us the capacity to have compassion in a way that’s different than if we just read a newspaper.”
Johnson is currently pursuing an MFA in Dance from ASU with her thesis focusing on exploring women and crime, a subject she became interested in after collaborating with Gregory Sale for It’s not just black and white in 2011.
“It really had me think what it’s like for me to be in Arizona and for me to be in a community that was my own.”
Above: Elizabeth Johnson, left, and Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Chief MaryEllen Sheppard talk with girls who participated in the “Mother-Daughter Distance Dance.”
Johnson considers curriculum integration the biggest and most important aspect of her job — how to create a program that trains the artists of the 21st century that gives them skills to not only hones their craft but apply it in multiple contexts.
Johnson currently instructs Socially Engaged Practice: Engagement and Community, but she is also in the process of designing a new program and curricula for a certificate in Socially Engaged Practice at the undergraduate and graduate level.
“I have a real passion for this kind of work and what happens when young people see how big art can be and how many possibilities there are,” Johnson says. “The actual engagement of young people is really interesting to me. And I thrive on it, which is why I’m in a university.”
Next semester she and the director of the ASU Art Museum Gordon Knox will teach the new class Socially Engaged Art, which will examine the role of the artist in society from an anthropological perspective. Knox and Johnson also plan to use the course to push students to think about how to use art to moderate conversations and assess the complexities of a given social situation.
Johnson explains she has learned more about socially engaged practice uses dance in a way to share, not perform. “You combine your experience with somebody else’s and you see ‘Oh, it’s a more complicated picture,’” she says. “More interesting, more broad. [Working here] has definitely expanded what I know.”
Johnson’s intern Lindsay Henika, a senior studying Art Administration, has found her time at the museum to be an opportunity to learn about special event planning and media marketing. “It’s been so great to see how the museum works from the front row,” she says.
Johnson has her hand in many different projects, but her next upcoming event is At Home in the Desert: Youth Engagement and Place. The project partners the faculty and staff in ASU Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts with community-based organizations, The Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Phoenix, The Boys and Girls and Club of the East Valley, Girl Scouts—Arizona Cactus-Pine Council, and South Mountain High School.
Johnson has been working with the Girl Scouts by studying the desert and making dances about what they find. The public event will take place on Dec. 1 at the Diane and Bruce Halle Skyspace Garden on the Tempe campus at 4:30 p.m.
Visiting artist Matteo Rubbi, right, explains the game of “Goose” to Museum visitors. Photo by Neil Borowicz.
There was a lot of clucking, growling, mooing and hopping at the ASU Art Museum on Saturday, June 2, and most of all, there was a lot of giggling. The source of the giggling – and all the other sounds – was an artist-led game of “Goose,” patterned after a board game that has been popular in Europe for centuries.
The artist leading the game was Matteo Rubbi, winner of the Furla Foundation Prize for 2011 and one of the first residents of the newly opened ASU Art Museum International Artist Residency facility at Combine Studios in downtown Phoenix, although you’d be forgiven for mistaking him for a gregarious and enthusiastic camp counselor. It’s unlikely that any of the dozens of visitors who played the game that day knew that Frieze magazine calls Rubbi one of the most interesting Italian artists today, and Rubbi isn’t the kind of artist who’d need to let you know that anyway. He’s much more interested in what he calls “social sculpture” and in pulling people into situations that force them to think creatively – and to become co-artists with Rubbi.
Rubbi’s game was the featured activity during one of the ASU Art Museum’s First Saturdays for Families, which take place on the first Saturday of every month (except July, when the Museum hosts Family Fun Day) and which are increasingly about artist-led experiences within the museum. (Don’t miss the next First Saturday, on Aug. 4 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.)
In an interview in Italian Vogue last summer, Rubbi was asked why it’s so important to him to involve the public in his work. He answered: “I believe it is the audience that brings a new dimension to my work. Eliminating the concepts of ‘viewer’ and ‘work of art’ from the equation opens up a brand new world, full of unexpected elements and possibilities. I always try to create the conditions for the audience and my work to negotiate their own relationship, which has to be improvised and invented on the spot (as in the case of board games that the public is encouraged to play). I believe this is the most challenging part of my research. It is always quite hard to ‘let go’ of something – an attitude, behavior – we have grown accustomed to.”
In fact, the international jury that awarded Rubbi the Furla Prize, led by artist Christian Boltanski, did so “for his capacity to interact with the viewer and to create new links between exhibition and public space.”
Click here for a clip of Rubbi explaining his work (produced in conjunction with his winning the Furla Prize).
Rubbi’s work is engaging on multiple levels, the most obvious being that almost every piece is a kind of invitation, sometimes a literal one. Shortly after arriving in Phoenix, Rubbi established a series of communal meals served in the Museum lobby for staff and invited guests; he called the lunches, which took place on Fridays, “Magic Friday.”
“Magic Friday” was about food and eating, certainly – each Friday brought a different international taste to the Museum, from Portuguese artist Miguel Palma’s sourda to Rubbi’s own mushroom risotto, but more than that, it was about bridging communities, and about how communal meals knit people together in both expected and unexpected ways.
One Friday, Rubbi invited members of the Lost Boys of Sudan, who live in Phoenix, to lunch, and they prepared an African dish. One Friday, we celebrated the Ephiphany with a traditional French cake that had some beans hidden in it; those who found the beans got a home-made paper crown. At each lunch, the guests graciously shared their perspectives, as well as examples of their cuisine, and Rubbi has maintained a journal containing the various recipes as well as a wall of photos in the Museum kitchen documenting the events.
Rubbi’s work fits into and expands upon the Museum’s overall emphasis on social practice, an art form that is particularly appropriate for an experimental university art museum and one that the Museum has been at the forefront of developing, particularly in its ongoing Social Studies series.
In a very real way, Rubbi transformed the Museum lobby into a kind of public square, where people gather to meet and talk – which is what ASU Art Museum Director Gordon Knox believes the ASU Art Museum should, in fact, be.
“At its core, a museum should be a safe place for the exchange of ideas, a location where past and present can contemplate each other and people with different cultural or generational perspectives can communicate,” Knox said. “We walk into a museum with an open attitude – what will I learn here? This is a very different starting point from the more transactional one we have when walking into a store, a business, a city, state or federal office. Dialogue is possible in a museum and expected of a university museum; Matteo’s work, evolving out of art and action traditions centuries old, pushes this conversation beyond words and – gently – beyond comfort zones as audience and artist blend and as we all contemplate how much we are in this together, and that we are far more similar than different.”
Rubbi’s game of “Goose” exemplified the kind of creative investigation of the world that art encourages us to undertake. Nothing about the game was expected, or predictable, although elements were familiar – the rolling of dice to determine outcome, the pleasure of playing a game with others. The “spaces” were all drawings of animals made by visitors and the artist himself, then scattered throughout the Museum. Some were recognizable, like rabbits and snakes. Others were creatures from the visitors’ imaginations, animals you won’t find in any dictionary.
At one point in the game, a young boy landed on a “butterfly” space, and Rubbi instructed him to be a butterfly, saying, “Okay, you’re a butterfly – so be colorful!” The change in expression on the boy’s face, from expectation (clearly he thought Rubbi was going to tell him to flap his wings or something equally obvious) to genuine curiosity (be colorful? How does one be colorful? How do I express that in my movements?) captured the very shift in thinking that art allows us all, young and old: from inside the box to utterly outside, being a colorful butterfly.
Rubbi has now returned to Italy for a few months. Currently he is conducting workshops at the Castello di Rivoli, near Turin, but in the fall he will return to the Museum and to Combine Studios. We’re fortunate that Rubbi is one of the artists to inaugurate the International Residency. His openness and engagement with the Phoenix community underscore the enormous benefits that the residency brings, providing the opportunity for students and the public to interface with significant international artists – and for these artists from around the world to be equally affected by the people and places they encounter here in Arizona, forming connections that will ripple out from their origins in wild and wonderful ways.
Photos by Neil Borowicz.
Last week, our friend and former colleague Lekha Hileman Waitoller began working at the Art Institute of Chicago as Exhibition Manager in the Department of Contemporary Art.
Her first big project: an upcoming exhibition of work by Steve McQueen, opening in October.
We’re impressed, but we’re not surprised.
Soon after arriving at ASU in the fall of 2008 to pursue an MA in art history in the School of Art, Lekha sought out opportunities at the ASU Art Museum and started as curatorial assistant. She worked closely with Senior Curator and Associate Director Heather Sealy Lineberry on a number of exhibition projects, large and small, from the collection and featuring international artist residencies and loans, exploring a range of disciplines and community programs and partnerships. In 2009, she curated the exhibition I Never Saw So Clearly, from the Museum’s permanent collection. The lively, smart exhibition focused on issues of identity and hybridity in contemporary art, informed by the research for her Master’s thesis on the work of Lorna Simpson and Steven Yazzie.
Then Lekha stepped in as interim curator in the fall of 2011. Her first big project was artist Jennifer Nelson’s Social Studies exhibition, Securing a free state: The Second Amendment Project.
Lekha handled the project’s challenging content and ambitious scope (both hallmarks of our Social Studies exhibitions) with her usual aplomb, demonstrating grace under pressure whether she was helping lead a tour of a sniper school in the desert or facilitating a series of intense, and intensely moving, workshops involving people whose lives have been radically altered by a violent encounter.
The Museum also benefited from Lekha’s curatorial vision and organizational abilities when we revamped the Americas Gallery, on the second floor, which showcases pieces from the permanent collection.
We look forward to seeing what Lekha does in Chicago — the Art Institute is lucky to have her!
Our senior curator and associate director, Heather Sealy Lineberry, has been in New York City attending the annual SOFA (Sculptural Objects Functional Art) exposition and doing other research for the Museum.
Below, HSL visits with fiber artist Mi-Kyoung Lee (and a young friend) to learn more about her work installed at SOFA New York. HSL writes that “Lee creates uncommonly beautiful and expansive installations using common materials like black and red twist ties, gardening mesh and thread.”
Here’s a shot of ASU ceramics professor Sam Chung and grad student Tristyn Bustamante admiring the work of Danish artist Steen Ipsen, in the Lacoste Gallery booth at SOFA New York:
Below, HSL takes a break from SOFA, museums, galleries and studios for dim sum in Chinatown with Sam Chung and the group of ceramics grads on the trip with him, pictured here. The students will be giving a presentation about the trip at the Ceramics Research Center on May 1, at 6 p.m. — the talk is free and open to the public.
And finally, a photo of Dawn Kasper’s work in the Whitney Biennial — an open and active complete studio in the gallery. HSL reports that she “chatted with Dawn about operating with the confines of a museum space, interacting with the public and the fluidity of art forms. Shared with her our long running Social Studies series of projects giving artists a museum gallery as open studio or space for actions and interactions.”
All photos courtesy of Heather Sealy Lineberry.
Julianne Swartz and Ken Landauer are looking for miracles at the ASU Art Museum this January. As the Social Studies artists for the spring, they will be in residence much of January exploring the miraculous through people’s perceptions of it in their lives. Julianne and Ken will interview school children, ASU students and community members of all ages and backgrounds to gather a range of definitions and life experiences. Their findings will be combined in an installation of fleeting vignettes in video and sound playing on all of the Museum’s available equipment.
Andrea Feller, Nicole Herden and I have been doing advance work talking to teachers, faculty and community members about the project. We just received more than 100 student projects back from Tesseract School and ACP (Academy with Community Partners) High School, grades 5 through 12. The written stories, guided by questions from the artists, are heart wrenching and compelling. They include a child telling the story of his great grandmother dancing with the ghost of her late husband in his wedding suit to a child’s story of the miracle of her own birth to teenagers with siblings surviving near-fatal war injuries.
An incredible start to Miracle Report, the eighth Social Studies project at the ASU Art Museum.
–Heather Sealy Lineberry, Senior Curator and Associate Director
For more information, or if you would like to schedule a session with the artists to retell your own miracle, contact Nicole Herden at Nicole.herden @asu.edu.
Here are the dates of the project and the artists’ mission statement:
Artist Residency: December 26, 2011 – January 20, 2012
Exhibition: January 21 – June 2, 2012
Reception: Friday, January 20, 5-7pm; Julianne Swartz will speak at the opening.
-We will spend our Social Studies Residency looking for miracles.
-We will locate the miraculous through other people’s perception of it in their lives.
-We will interview many local residents and ask them to “describe a miracle you have experienced”.
- Interviewees will be of varied ages and backgrounds. We will gratefully record anyone who wishes to retell his or her own miracle.
-We will record audio and video from these interviews, but identities will be obscured.
-The recordings will be edited into fleeting vignettes that attempt to establish “the miraculous” through many entirely subjective perspectives.
-We will seek to use all of the available audio and visual equipment in the museum’s possession to display the recordings.
-Our installation will strive to embody some beauty, some hocus-pocus, and some unexplainable magic.
Check this calendar for an updated list of public events and panels connected to the Securing a free state: The Second Amendment Project – Jennifer Nelson, Social Studies 7, including an artist reception at the Museum on Nov. 4. We hope you can join us!
CALENDAR OF PUBLIC EVENTS
Open gallery sessions with the artist
Saturday, October 8 – noon-1:30 p.m.
Saturday, October 15 – noon-1:30 p.m.
Participants are encouraged to attend for the full 90 minutes.
Public panel on the topic of how people find security,
individually and collectively.
Tuesday, November 1 – noon-1:30 p.m.
Kim Hedrick, Trauma Survivor
Nick Katkevich, Co-Director of the Phoenix
John Kleinheinz , Captain/Commander of the Maricopa
County Sheriff’s Office Special Weapons and Tactics
Scout McNamara, Counselor specializing in trauma
resolution, mood disorders, addiction and relationships
Jim Neff, Firearm Instructor, Generations Firearm
Moylan Ryan, Somatic Coach
We recommend that you attend more than one field trip to better understand the
full scope of the project.
To sign up, call Lekha Hileman Waitoller at 480-965-0497 or email at Lekha.Waitoller@asu.edu
Thursday, October 13 – 6:30 p.m.
Artificial Limb Specialists, 2916 N. 3rd Street, Phoenix, AZ 85012
Sunday, October 23 – 11 a.m.
GPS Defense Sniper School
Saturday, October 29 – noon-2:00 p.m.
St. Luke’s Behavioral Health, 1800 E. Van Buren
Street, Phoenix, AZ 85006
Enter through the main entrance, signage will direct you to the
Behavioral Health Auditorium
Friday, November 4 – 5:00-7:00 p.m. Closing remarks by Jennifer Nelson at 5:45 p.m.
Friday, October 21 – 2:30-4:30 p.m.
Performance by visiting dance artist Tim O’Donnell
Thursday, November 3, noon-2:00 p.m.
Nick Katkevich of the Phoenix Nonviolence
Truthforce, will provide an introduction to Kingian
Nonviolence focusing on the fundamental strategies and
aspects of nonviolence based on the philosophy and movements led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
For more information, updates and further opportunities to engage in the project,
please check the ASU Art Museum blog: asuartmuseum.wordpress.com or contact
Lekha Hileman Waitoller at 480-965-0497.
This terrible thing has happened, I will never be the same: “Securing a free state” — Jennifer Nelson
When this project was percolating last year, thinking choreographically I
initially approached it with a dumb pun about the right to bear arms. I was
thinking about the way the mind fills the fire-”arm” with its
intention, and the way this intention penetrates social space with its
imperative to stop an attack (I’m taking a good-faith approach that those who
are armed for self-defense do not wish to do harm beyond stopping an attacker).
On the other side, I was thinking about the body’s integrity being violated by
violence, and the psychic and social consequences of that. I imagined a person
missing an arm to violence. I was wondering about phantom sensations in
the missing limb, and about the experiences of someone trying to heal by making
the body whole again through the use of a prosthetic limb. Can mind inhabit the
inanimate? What relationship can a person claim to the now public place where
his or her limb should have been?
But as I thought further, it became clear that the project would go deeper. I
would shift away from “the right of the people to keep and bear arms”
to the heart of the Amendment: “the security of a free state.” What
is a securely free state? What does that mean intimately? How do we carry this
in our bodies? We live with mortal vulnerability, and with the possibility,
however statistically slight, of facing violent conflict. We look for ways to
live with this terror, particularly if we have already been wounded and our
trust has already been broken. The evolving project sets out on this deeper
quest. So when we approached Michael Pack, owner of Artificial Limb
Specialists, about a field trip to his site, I carried both my first intention
and the evolving question.
Michael’s work, as a designer of custom prosthetic devices, is that of a
life-changer. He works with clients, most of whom have suffered a traumatic
injury from war or accident (rather than the #1 cause for limb loss: diabetes)
for months or even years to get the right prosthetic fit. It truly makes the
difference of whether a person can live a full and free life or not. Danny
Lujan, a client of many years who was present on our Thursday night field trip,
said that his psychological recovery from the loss of his lower leg only began
when the limb fit perfectly and he didn’t need to think about it anymore. We
spent the evening learning what it takes to design prosthesis to fit perfectly –
to become an extension of the body – and speaking with Danny about his emotional
relationship with both his lost leg and his prosthetic one. We also got a tour
of the workshop — a sculptor’s delight — for casting and shaping these amazing
devices. Michael’s clients compete in triathlons, scuba dive, rock climb, and
play with grandchildren. Danny was able to move forward literally and figuratively
after his accident. He got a degree, found his wife, and has a rewarding job.
But he says the first several years were really hard. His sense of personal
security changed. He feels more vulnerable. He still feels the lost leg,
sometimes it still hurts. Michael explains that a patient needs to bond with
their prosthetic leg to move forward, and for some people, life events make it
so difficult to take a forward-looking view of loss: This terrible thing
has happened, I will never the be same. How will this cause me to grow?
We’ll be examining that question in more detail on the field trip on Saturday,
October 29th to St. Luke’s Behavioral Health. Check it out – there are
participatory events for post-traumatic growth.
This Sunday at 11:00 a.m. we’ll eat pastries at a sniper training range while
discussing letting one’s guard down with sniper training instructor William
Graves. Please contact Lekha Hileman Waitoller if you would like to join us
–Jennifer Nelson, Social Studies artist
All images by Sean Deckert.
Contemplating security from very different perspectives – Securing a free state: The Second Amendment Project
On Thursday, we will visit Artificial Limb Specialists (2916 N. 3rd Street, Phoenix, AZ 85012) at 6:30 p.m. for a tour of the design facilities where custom prosthetics are made.
An individual who lost a limb and uses a prosthetic will speak with us about how he inhabits his limb, what the prosthetic means for him emotionally, and his feelings of security or vulnerability with the limb.
On Sunday, October 23 at 11 a.m. we will visit a sniper training school that provides realistic training opportunities for individuals in law enforcement, military as well as civilians. We will observe a group of students as they go through their final exercises in sniper training and will discuss the topic of security from the perspective of someone who is prepared to encounter and deflect threats. The address for this field trip will be provided only to those who sign up to attend the tour. Car pools to the facility can be arranged.
Space for both fieldtrips is limited—for questions, or to sign up for either, please contact the project’s curator, Lekha Hileman Waitoller at firstname.lastname@example.org 480-965-0497. Attendance to both field trips is suggested in order to more
fully understand the dialogue unfolding in Securing a free state.
–Lekha Hileman Waitoller, Interim Curator
Photos by Jennifer Nelson.
Opportunities to participate — Securing a free state: The Second Amendment Project – Jennifer Nelson, Social Studies 7
Jennifer Nelson’s Social Studies residency at the ASU Art Museum has been going for about two weeks and we’ve already been to two shooting ranges, a sniper training school and a prosthetics design facility. As if this weren’t enough firsts for me, I also, in a trust-building exercise, allowed a SWAT team commander to lead me around a gallery with my eyes closed (although I cheated when I noted that I was being led into a dark corner). This project is shaping up to be a huge learning experience with nary a dull moment, and we have barely begun.
Securing a free state: The Second Amendment Project is the second in a nonconsecutive series of projects by Jennifer Nelson on the Bill of Rights. While the Second Amendment is commonly thought about only as “the right to bear arms,” Jennifer selected another clause as her starting point for the project: “the security of a free state.”
Throughout the residency, group conversations, field trips and a public panel will engender a dialogue about security—how individuals find it and how we, collectively, think of it. Contemplating private and public security gives rise to a host of complexities, which and can at times seem incompatible. This dynamic negotiation of rights between the public and the private is what this project considers; in fact, it is what Jennifer’s body of work usually considers. (Read about her collaborative project Limerick Cookbook for an example.)
Jennifer, her husband and collaborator, Dimitri, and I have been laying the ground work for this project, which has taken us to the sites mentioned above. This past Saturday and then again next Saturday (October 8 and 15) are the first public opportunities for community members to come to the Museum and take part in the project. From noon-1:30 next Saturday, as we did this past Saturday, we will think about security through activities and conversations that are facilitated by two martial artists, an NRA certified firearms instructor and a trauma therapist.
Check out the full calendar of events below, which will continue to grow as the project develops. (We’ll be updating this blog with new opportunities and events as they arise.)
–Lekha Hileman Waitoller, Interim Curator
CALENDAR OF EVENTS:
SATURDAYS IN THE GALLERY: On Saturday, October 8 and 15, members of the public have the opportunity to work with Jennifer from noon-1:30 p.m. These times provide a chance to explore martial practices and therapeutic exercises as we examine strategies for achieving personal security, and ponder what that means in a collective context. Visitors will work in a small group with a martial artist, a shooter and a trauma therapist specializing in somatic treatments to develop choreographies of self-defense and recovery.
Please wear loose-fitting clothes and athletic shoes, and because the gallery is chilly, some may want to bring an extra layer. Please arrive on time and plan to stay for 90 minutes.
On Saturday, October 22 at 1:00 p.m. we will have a public panel with rotating moderators in the gallery for a discussion of the question: How do people find security? Come prepared to participate in what promises to be a lively discussion.
A series of field trips will consider the link between the mind and its extension beyond the body. These include a visit to a prosthetics maker and fitter, which will be thought of as sites where sculpture is made and where one is driven by the need to feel physically whole after a violent interruption of their bodily integrity. The other is a trip to a sniper training facility, which will be considered a performative space where defensive security is practiced.
To sign up for the field trips, please contact Lekha Waitoller at 480-965-0497 or email@example.com
- Thursday, October 13, 6:30 p.m.: a visit to Artificial Limb Specialists in Phoenix, where we will tour the prosthetics design facility and speak with an amputee who will share his experience about the physical transformation he has been through.
- Sunday, October 23, 11:00 a.m.: a tour of GPS Defense Sniper School to understand the physical and psychological training for snipers.
This exhibition is supported by a grant from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.
The project was initiated by John D. Spiak and is curated by Lekha Hileman Waitoller.