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Art, Art History & Visual Studies - Duke University
Current Events


Suzanne Lacy: Artist Talk and Workshop

Artist Talk
Thursday, September 12, 6 PM
Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Durham, NC.
Open to the public.

Sponsored by the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University and the Visiting Artists Series of the Department of Art, Art History & Visual Studies at Duke University.

Breakfast Workshop & Conversation with Suzanne Lacy
Friday September 13, 10 AM-12 PM
Ackland Art Museum
University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
Reservation required.

Sponsored by the Ackland Art Museum, The Department of Women's and Gender Studies at UNC - Chapel Hill, and the Visiting Artists Series of the Department of Art, Art History & Visual Studies at Duke University.

Suzanne Lacy will present new works, as well as selections from forty years of activism, education, and what she has termed “new genre public art.” Lacy is an internationally known artist whose work includes installations, video, and large-scale performances on social themes and urban issues. One of her best-known works to date is The Crystal Quilt (Minneapolis, 1987) a performance with 430 older women, broadcast live on Public Television. During the nineties she worked with teams of artists and youth to create an ambitious series of performances, workshops, and installations on youth and public policy, documented by videos, local and national news broadcasts, and an NBC program.

Her work has been shown at the Getty, Tate Modern, and many art institutions around the world. She has received awards from numerous foundations, including the National Endowment for the Arts, Creative Time, The Guggenheim, Rockefeller, Surdna, and Nathan Cummings Foundations. She also received the Distinguished Artist Award for Lifetime Achievement from the College Art Association in 2010 and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Women's Caucus for Art in 2012.

Also known for her writing, Lacy edited the influential Mapping the Terrain: New Genre Public Art, published in 1995, it prefigures much current writing on politically relevant performance art. Most recently, she published Leaving Art: Writings on Performance, Politics, and Publics, 1974-2007.

Lacy is the Chair of Public Practice at Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles. From 1987-97 she was Dean of the School of Fine Arts at the California College of Arts. Active in Oakland cultural politics, Lacy was a member of Mayor Jerry Brown’s education cabinet and an Arts Commissioner for the City of Oakland.


September 6-22, 2013
The Den Theatre (Studio 2B), Chicago, Illinois

The Paper Hat Game, a collaboration between Torry Bend, Assistant Professor of the Practice of Theater Studies, and Raquel Salvatella de Prada, Assistant Professor of the Practice of Visual Arts, will be playing in Chicago September 6-22, 2013.

The show premiered at Duke in 2011 and was revised for a 2012 performance at Manbites Dog Theater in Durham. It is now on a tour that started in New York last June where it participated at the Great Small Works Toy Theater Festival, continued to Chicago and will finish in Minneapolis September 27-29.

The story is told using live puppetry, intricate models, photo-motion video and a collage of shifting scenery all layered into a performance space only slightly bigger than an oven. With dreamlike video design and a gritty soundscape, the performance offers a voyage into the psychological and physical workings of a large city.

In a 5-star review, the Independent Weekly wrote, “Torry Bend [and] video designer Raquel Salvatella have created a beacon for the new era with their exquisite short ‘toy theater’ work…. I can't emphasize enough the deep satisfaction provided by the beautiful craft of this hybrid production.”

The show has received two awards for production of the year from Raleigh's Indy Week.


video trailer: vimeo.com/72292772


Visualizing Venice

July 12 - October 31, 2013
East Duke Corridor Gallery
East Duke Building, East Campus

Visualizing Venice is a three-year project involving faculty and staff from Duke's Wired! Lab and counterparts at two Italian universities, Universita Iuav di Venezia and Universita degli Studi di Padova. Visualizing Venice provides a series of inquiries into how social and economic change shaped the city of Venice over time. Using documents and archival sources, collaborative groups of students map and model the process of change in the city.

An exhibition of projects is now on display in East Duke Building. The exhibition summarizes much of the project's research thus far, a series of re-creations of several notable areas of Venice, dissected and re-built layer by layer using all manner of representational digital technologies. Projects include SS. Giovanni e Paolo, the Ospedale, the Accademia, the Biennale, and the Arsenale.

The exhibition, which has already been displayed in Venice and Zagreb, Croatia, was previously shown at Smith Warehouse in April.


Pedro Lasch, Susan Harbage Page, and Yinka Shonibare

Pedro Lasch, LATINO/A AMERICA, 2003/2013. Mixed-media installation, dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artist. © Pedro Lasch. Image courtesy of the Queens Museum of Art, New York.

July 20 – December 1, 2013
Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University

This installation complements the exhibition Lines of Control: Partition as a Productive Space (September 19, 2013 - February 2, 2014) and deals with the human consequences of the creation and regulation of borders.

Pedro Lasch is Associate Research Professor in the Department of Art, Art History & Visual Studies. His evolving installation consists of maps printed with red images of North and South America labeled “Latino/a” and “America”, respectively. Lasch provides two of these folded up maps to each person he meets who plans to cross the U.S. - Mexico border. One map they keep for themselves, the other they return to Lasch following their crossing. Each sheet is marked with the evidence of the journey, the stains and tears creating an altered, more personal map.

In a series of photographs, Harbage Page captures objects—such as a wallet, a lone argyle sock and scraps of fabric and paper—left behind as migrants crossed the U.S.-Mexican border. These items are no longer possessions but rather documents testifying to a life that has moved on, reminding us of what else may have been left behind: family, friends, and home.

Shonibare’s work, Scramble for Africa, assembles fourteen mannequins around a table with a map of Africa at its center. This installation re-imagines the Berlin Conference (1884-85) that resulted in a continent separated and parceled out among European powers, creating divisions that led to conflict and bloodshed.

African American Close-up: Prints, Photographs and Works on Paper from North Carolina Collections

David C. Driskell, (b. 1931), Woman in Interior, 2008. Screenprint in colors on paper, 37 ¼ x 25 ¼ inches. Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Durham, NC. Gift of Franklin and Sheila Jackson, 2008.12.1.© 2013 David C. Driskell. Courtesy of the artist.


The works of art featured on this new website are part of a group studied in the Fall 2012 Art History course at Duke University taught by Professor Richard Powell entitled "Modern and Contemporary African American Art." This course examined the social and philosophical forces shaping a black presence in contemporary and modern visual culture.

Because the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University is the repository for, or is in close proximity to, many important works of art by and about African Americans, it was decided that rather than requiring a conventional term paper, students might benefit more from conducting original research on works of art they could see in person. To showcase this student-generated scholarship this online exhibition was created.

Henry Ossawa Tanner, (1859-1937), Untitled (Study for Christ at the Home of Lazarus), c. 1912. Pastel and Chalk on Cardboard, 13 5/16 x 10 1/8 inches. North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, NC. Gift of Dr. Naomi M. Kanof, G.77.4.1.Courtesy of the North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, NC.

African American Close-Up: Prints, Photographs and Works on Paper from North Carolina Collections gratefully acknowledges the support from the Ph.D. Lab in Digital Knowledge, John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute at Duke University. Additional generous support is provided by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Department News


New Book: Vorticism: New Perspectives

Vorticism: New Perspectives, edited by Mark Antliff, Professor of Art History and Visual Studies at Duke University, and Scott W. Klein, Professor and Chair of the Department of English at Wake Forest University, is forthcoming this October from Oxford University Press.

The London-based avant-garde movement Vorticism, like its continental counterparts Cubism and Futurism—and its English rival Bloomsbury—was created by artists, poets, writers, and artist-writers, as a project that defied disciplinary boundaries. Vorticism: New Perspectives is the first volume to attend to the full range of the movement's innovations, providing investigations into every aspect of the Vorticists' artistic production: their avant-garde experiments in print culture, art criticism, theater, poetry, exhibition practice, manifesto writing, literature, sculpture, painting, and photography. The rich and varied essays in this volume constitute a timely and comprehensive reassessment of a key chapter in the history of modernism, and will be of interest to scholars across the full range of the humanities.

"Vorticism: New Perspectives is groundbreaking. Replete with new understandings of the international phenomenon's wide-ranging avant-garde practices and impacts, it will enjoin scholars of Modernism more familiar with the innovations of Cubism, Futurism, or Bloomsbury to give much more credence to Vorticism. Thanks to this volume, we can no longer construe this multifarious movement as a 'failed revolution'.”
—Mark A. Cheetham, University of Toronto

"This remarkable volume of essays has re-orientated the landscape of studies in Vorticism and modernism. The field must now recognize this movement as profoundly international in its ambition and impact, visually challenging in its formal innovations, and intellectually distinctive. The editors are to be congratulated for assembling a stellar cast of scholars to produce this multi-dimensional, extraordinarily stimulating and inspiring collection."
—Tom Normand, University of St. Andrews

"This fine volume amply fulfills its subtitle's promise, offering genuinely 'New Perspectives' on the essential but neglected English avant-garde movement of Vorticism. The chapters—by leading experts in modernist literary and visual culture—significantly enrich and enliven current discussions of this fascinating cultural movement; Vorticism's artworks, participants, influences and inspirations, competitors and legacies, and politics are all productively re-illuminated: an indispensable book."
—Paul Peppis, University of Oregon

Exhibition: On Watching and Being Seen

William Noland, Bowery Car Diptych No. 1 (1979) From the series '70s Sequences. Williamsburg Bridge traffic, seen from 262 Bowery, New York, New York.

William Noland, Professor of the Practice of Visual Arts, is part of a group exhibition entitled On Watching and Being Seen at the Northern Illinois University Art Museum in DeKalb, Illinois from August 27 - October 18. The show explores the role of voyeur and exhibitionist, especially through the impact of social media and surveillance technology. Noland is exhibiting three large-scale diptychs and one triptych from the series '70s Sequences as well as an installation of his video Occulted (2006). Other exhibiting artists include Joachim Ladefoged, Ben Lowy, Susan Meiselas, Helmut Newton, Kohei Yoshiyuki, Martin Backes, Ron Gallella and Walker Evans.


Chester P. Middlesworth Award

Tessa Handa, a graduate student in the APSI (Asian/Pacific Studies Institute) Master's Program in East Asian Studies, has won the Chester P. Middlesworth Award for graduate work from the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library. Handa, an MA student of Gennifer Weisenfeld, Professor of Art History and Visual Studies, received the award for her paper “The Orientalist Reality, Tourism, and Photography: the Parrish Family Albums in Japan, 1899-1904,” written for Weisenfeld’s seminar. The award comes with a cash prize of $1,000.

XXXI International Congress of the Latin American Studies Association

Ronald Moran (El Salvador), Laberinto, 2009.

This summer, doctoral candidate Kency Cornejo participated in the XXXI International Congress of the Latin American Studies Association LASA 2013: Towards a New Social Contract from May 21-June 1, 2013 in Washington, DC. She chaired the panel, “Post-War-Art-Post-Memory,” and presented a paper, “Puchica! Experimental Art and Visual Culture in Post-war El Salvador.” In this conference she was also an invited panelist for “The Art of the Central American Diasporas: A Roundtable Discussion.”

Exhibitions in Mexico and Brazil

Kency Cornejo also participated as an invited curator in the Arte Nuevo Interactiva 2013 Biennial: “Creative Decolonial Strategies: Mayas, Afro Latina/os and Transnational US Latina/os,” held in Merida, Mexico from May 27-June 10. She was also an invited lecturer for the first FIF Festival Internacional de Fotografia de Belo Horizonte in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, in July. She delivered a presentation entitled, “Visual Colonization and Disobedience.”


Sophomore Rebecca Lai, a computer science and visual arts major, won the Duke STEAMy Video Summer Challenge with her 2-minute animated video, Seed. The Challenge asked students to illustrate issues related to STEAM, a new term for interdisciplinary learning that joins the traditional STEM disciplines of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math with the Arts. Her video won two awards in the challenge, the Grand Prize ($1,000) and the First Place People’s Choice ($250).

Rebecca did all the animation in Flash CS4 before adding effects in After Effects CS6. She then put all the rendered clips together using Final Cut Pro X. The entire process took about three weeks and it was done while she was doing computer science research at Carnegie Mellon University this past summer. The video concept is somewhat autobiographical and reflects the path she took that led her to realize she wanted to pursue computer science and visual arts.

The video can be seen here: vimeo.com/72145261

Coming Soon

Visual Studies Initiative

Those interested in subscribing to the Visual Studies list, please go to: https://lists.duke.edu/sympa/subscribe/duke-visualstudies

MFA in Experimental & Documentary Arts


The new Master of Fine Arts in Experimental & Documentary Arts (MFAEDA) at Duke University brings together two forms of artistic activity — the documentary approach and experimental production in analog, digital, and computational media — in a unique program that will foster collaborations across disciplines and media as it trains sophisticated, creative art practitioners. Successful completion of the program requires the development of a complex understanding of documentary practices and traditions as well as creative skills in experimental media and new technologies. The MFAEDA is a joint program between the Department of Art, Art History & Visual Studies; the Center for Documentary Studies; and the Program in the Arts of the Moving Image.


NewsByte is published biweekly during the academic year. It is published monthly during June, July, and August. Please refer all relevant departmental information for inclusion in our e-newsletter to John Taormina, Director, Visual Media Center, at taormina@duke.edu.

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