Film Screening at the DMA: Ghosts of Lost Futures on May 22

Ghosts of Lost Futures video stillIs a spectre haunting the archive? Do the films collected there proclaim a history that is no longer or a future that is not yet here? Is there something to reclaim in the bits of visual history that have been rescued in the archive? Have you felt the horizon closing before your eyes, the promise of the future you’ve been waiting for becoming a perpetual, timeless present? Cultural theorist Mark Fisher describes a tendency in contemporary culture he refers to as “hauntological” that refuses to give up on a lost future that no longer seems possible. “This refusal gives the melancholia a political dimension, because it amounts to a failure to accommodate to the closed horizons of capitalist realism.”

In partnership with the Dallas Museum of Art, the G. William Jones Film and Video Collection and the SMU Libraries will present Ghosts of Lost Futures, a screening of new, commissioned videos from 10 artists using footage held in the WFAA News Film archive. The screening will be held in person at the DMA’s Horchow Auditorium on Saturday May 22nd at 3pm. This screening is Free, but for safety, it will have limited capacity and requires RSVP via the DMA’s website here: https://dma.org/programs/event/film-screening-ghosts-lost-futures

This program, Ghosts of Lost Futures, features new video works by 10 artists commissioned by the G. William Jones Film and Video Collection. Each artist was given access to the same cache of footage from the WFAA Newsfilm Collection shot in Dallas in 1970, the year of the archive’s founding. The program was intended to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the archive, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting lockdowns, the program was not completed until the spring of 2021. The artists were given complete freedom in how they reinterpreted the footage and its historical context. The resulting works are profound meditations on mourning, melancholy, disaster, and various reinterpretations of the events of 2020 and 2021 through images of Dallas’s past.

Artists in this program:

Amber Bemak (Dallas, TX)
Marwa Benhalim (Cairo, Egypt)
Melanie Clemmons (Dallas, TX)
Curt Heiner (Denver, CO)
Zak Loyd (Dallas, TX)
Lisa Mccarty (Dallas, TX)
Sean Miller (Dallas, TX)
Angelo Madsen Minax (Brooklyn, NY / Burlington, VT)
Liz Rodda (Austin, TX)
Tramaine Townsend (Dallas, TX)

Program curated by Michael A. Morris

Commissioned by the SMU Libraries and the G. William Jones Film and Video Collection
SMU Libraries Staff Advisors: Jeremy Spracklen, Scott Martin, Jolene De Verges, Beverly Mitchell

In 1970 the G. William Jones Film and Video Collection was founded at Southern Methodist University and was then known as the Southwest Film/Video Archives. Currently part of the SMU Libraries, it is home to many important collections of films and videos from the region, including the WFAA Newsfilm Collection.

Get Zen @ Hamon: Tame your Brain – May 3 – 7

Get Zen and Tame Your Brain with meditation! During the week of May 3 – 7, the Hamon Arts Library offers a guided meditation series. Practicing just 10 minutes a day may enable a greater sense of well-being, alleviate mental stress, and promote sustained focus.

Get Zen @ Hamon: Tame your Brain


Blog post: LaGail Davis, General Operations Manager and zen master, Hamon.

Curatorial Minds Lab: Virtual Lecture with Guest Curator May Makki on April 28

Curatorial Minds Lab: Virtual Lecture with Guest Curator May Makki

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

5:30 p.m.

Virtual lecture; advance registration required.

FREE

May Makki is an independent curator interested in developing new networks of exhibition and distribution. Her current research focuses on practices that build out autonomous and collective approaches to cultural production in the Arab region. Most recently, she co-founded RISO BAR, aHuff_Makki publishing initiative and cooperative space that facilitates collaboration and experimentation using risograph printing. A RISO BAR exhibition is currently on display at SMU’s Pollock Gallery. Makki holds a B.A. in art history from the University of Chicago and is an M.A. candidate at the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College. The lecture is presented as part of the Curatorial Minds Lab, a new initiative of the Hamon Arts Library’s Hawn Gallery and the Pollock Gallery at SMU that gives five Fellows – made up of alumni and current students – an opportunity to deepen their understanding of the historical development of curatorial practices and study contemporary art display theory and practice. To register to attend the virtual lecture, visit https://smu.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJAtcO6hqzkvG91qUMzx_B2T6i9jrCrWcxaX. For more information, visit https://pollockgallery.art/Curatorial-Minds-Lab or email Pollock Gallery Assistant Curator Everton Melo at emelo@smu.edu.

Moderated by Elise Huff, CML fellow and SMU alumnae.

Curatorial Minds Lab: Virtual Lecture with Guest Curator Yina Jiménez Suriel on April 7

Virtual Lecture with Guest Curator Yina Jiménez Suriel

April 7, 5:30 p.m.

Yina Jiménez Suriel. Curator and researcher. She obtained her master’s degree in History of Art and Visual Culture, with a focus on visual studies from the Universitat de València. She has collaborated in different institutions, among them Casa Quien, Centro León, Kulturstiftung Basel H. Geiger, Museo de Arte Moderno de Medellín. She has been invited to seminars, workshops, and congresses at various institutions,CML logo including Centro de Fotografía de Montevideo, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Universidad de los Andes, Institut Kunst at FHNW Academy of Art and Design. She has written in media such as Arquitexto and Terremoto and is a contributor to Contemporary And magazine. She lives in the Dominican Republic.

Moderated by Gabriela Paiva de Toledo, CML fellow and PhD candidate in the Rasc/A Meadows School of the Arts Art History program.

When: Apr 7, 2021 05:30 PM Central Time (US and Canada)

 

Please register in advance for this meeting:

https://smu.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJwvdO6upjovE9VSfYiTxp-92j_fMzd5Javz

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Curatorial Minds Lab: Virtual Lecture with Guest Curator Sofía Casarin, Co-founder of Ruta del Castor, Mexico City

Curatorial Minds Lab: Virtual Lecture with Guest Curator Sofía Casarin, Co-founder of Ruta del Castor, Mexico City

Wednesday, March 17, 2021 at 5:30 pmCML logo

Virtual lecture; advance registration required.

Sofia Casarin is a Mexico-based curator and art historian whose work focuses on the relationship between the arts and politics and on the role of artists as civic agents. She is the co-founder and curator of Ruta del Castor in Mexico City, a nonprofit organization working with artists and supporting meaningful, socially engaged art initiatives through residency programs, research projects and commissions in public spaces. She has served as an editor and writer for art and literature magazine diSONARE, as a juror for numerous art competitions and as a speaker and panelist for conferences on art and community. She holds a B.A. in art history and international relations from Florida International University and an M.A. in art and politics from Goldsmiths, University of London. The lecture is presented as part of the Curatorial Minds Lab, a new initiative of the Hamon Arts Library’s Hawn Gallery and the Pollock Gallery at SMU that gives five Fellows – made up of alumni and current students – an opportunity to deepen their understanding of the historical development of curatorial practices and study contemporary art display theory and practice. To register to attend the virtual lecture, please visit:  https://smu.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJIlcOyqqzwsE9cIyBwslaoGzyHKwe_3BHf4.

For more information, visit https://pollockgallery.art/Curatorial-Minds-Lab or email Pollock Gallery Assistant Curator Everton Melo at emelo@smu.edu.

Curatorial Minds Lab – spring 2021 fellows & upcoming events

Please join us in welcoming the five fellows for the spring 2021 Curatorial Minds Lab cohort, hosted by the Hawn Gallery in the Hamon Arts Library, SMU.  

CML logo
Aidan Ellis (she/her) is a second-year student from Austin, TX pursuing majors in Film & Media Studies and English with minors in Human Rights and Art History. She applies her diverse academic interests to examine how the ideation, production, curation, and reception of cultural texts respond and relate to Human Rights topics and issues. She is particularly fascinated by texts as mechanisms for empathy, and she hopes to produce and curate texts in ways that utilize this mechanism to achieve meaningful, cross-cultural understanding.

Elise Huff is a recent graduate from Southern Methodist University. During her time as an undergraduate, she was a recipient of SMU’s Engaged Learning Fellowship, conducting independent research on the intersection of nonverbal and verbal modes of communication and its impact on 1st and 2nd generation Germans and Mexicans in the United States. Recently, she interned for the Dallas Art Fair, as well as Site 131, a contemporary art gallery. She currently is enrolled in Harvard’s CopyrightX program, examining topics related to art law, as well as intellectual and cultural property. Elise plans to pursue a master’s degree in art history this upcoming fall, and her primary research interests include the use of legal documents in Conceptual art and the role of authorship in collaborative or performance-based works.

Adrienne Lichliter-Hines is a printmaking and paper artist and educator working in Dallas, Texas. She received her MFA from Clemson University in 2014 and has a Bachelors of Arts in art history and painting from Southern Methodist University. Her work has been shown throughout Texas and the United States as well as abroad in China, Japan, Egypt, Italy, and the UK. She has been an invited resident artist at The Kala Art Institute in Berkeley CA, 100 West in Corsicana TX, Artscape in Toronto, Canada, and Zygote Press in Cleveland OH. She is currently the Marketing and Programs Manager of The Cedars Union, a nonprofit art incubator in Dallas, TX, and the Advisory Board President of Corsicana Artists and Writers Residency. Adrienne maintains a modest studio practice exploring photographic textures and non-objective mark-making through lithography in an effort to challenge the hierarchy of commodified attention.

Gabriela Paiva de Toledo is a second-year Ph.D. student in the RASC/a: Rhetorics of Art, Space, and Culture at Southern Methodist University. She received her B.A. in History with an Art History minor from the University of Campinas (Brazil) in 2015 and her M.A. in Art History from the same institution in 2017. Currently, her interests lie in Contemporary Brazilian art and photography.

Sophia Salinas is a senior SMU undergraduate student working towards a BA of Art History and a BBA in General Business. She has focused her studies on modern and contemporary art with attention to feminist theories of agency, embodiment, and technology, and is currently completing a thesis on Cyberfeminist Art Practices. She is also the current AAMD Intern in Museum Education at the Meadows Museum.ABOUT

Curatorial Minds Lab is a bimonthly gathering (online/on-campus) of SMU alumni and current students interested in deepening their understanding of the historical development of curatorial practices and the study of contemporary art display theory/practice including exhibition typologies and curatorial models. In the framework of this program, history, theory, contextualization, organization, and execution of curatorial projects will be discussed, evaluated, and critiqued.

The Curatorial Minds Lab is a program designed by SMU Pollock Gallery Director, Sofia Bastidas Vivar in collaboration with Assistant Director of the Hamon Arts Library and Hawn Gallery curator, Beverly Mitchell. The space for this theorization and practice will be in the Hawn Gallery at the Hamon Arts Library, accompanied by materials and texts.

CML fellows will also moderate a series of online public talks given by curators established or emerging in their careers. Included in these series are Taylor Renee Aldridge, Sofia Casarín, Yina Jiménez Suriel, and May Makki. Dates for this series are March 17, April 7, April 28 and September 22 at 5:30 pm.

For more information please contact: abastidas@smu.edu

Hawn Gallery presents Allyson Packer: Sounding – opening February 7

 

Allyson Packer: Sounding
On view February 7 – March 29, 2020

Monday – Thursday | 9 AM – 9 PM
Friday | 9 AM – 6 PM

Saturday | 12 – 5 PM
Sunday | 2 – 9 PM

 

Opening Reception with the artist | Friday, February 7 | 5 – 7 pm

The Hawn Gallery is pleased to present Allyson Packer: Sounding, a site-specific, interactive installation spanning all four floors of the Hamon Arts Library at SMU. With looping video, text-based instructions, and subtle interventions into the architecture and resources of the library, Packer offers viewers an encounter with the possibility of the infinite. While infinity may only exist as a concept, spaces like libraries, Packer argues, can suggest it. The building itself has clearly defined boundaries, and at any given time the physical and digital materials that make up its collection of resources can be quantified numerically. There is a sense of impalpable depth too contained within The Hamon Library, the sublime potential of what is already known, what could be known, what is not yet known, and what is unknowable. The exhibition’s title, Sounding, describes the process of measuring— originally with lead and line, today with sonar— the depth of a body of water, without making direct physical contact with it. Likening the contents of the library to a body of water, the pieces included in this installation act as sounding instruments to plumb the collection’s literal and metaphorical depths. Water, in many different forms, recurs thematically across the whole exhibition. It appears in direct citation of J.M.W. Turner’s paintings, in reference to a fountain outside of the library, in imagery based on folders containing sheet music from the Hamon stacks, and on the public computer desktops.

For several months, Packer has visited the library regularly. She spent long afternoons wandering the stacks, getting to know Hamon’s internal and external rhythms and overlooked quirks. This extended visitation with no other purpose allows her to develop an outsider’s peculiar knowledge of the place that’s at once intimate and remote. The resulting interventions into the space deviate only slightly from a patron’s usual experience of the library. Most are subtle to the point of precarity— the term that French art historian, Anna Dezeuze, in Almost nothing: Observations on precarious practices in contemporary art, uses to describe artworks that exist on the verge of disappearing into the fabric of the everyday (5). By existing on the border between perceptible and imperceptible, Packer’s work redirects viewers’ attention to their own bodies, and their awareness of their presence in a space.

Allyson Packer will speak about her work at the opening reception on Friday, February 7.

Artist bio

Allyson Packer makes artwork that engages viewers in an examination of the myths and values embedded in the built environment. Her installations and performances have been shown at Nahmad Projects (London), Hyde Park Art Center (Chicago), and Birds + Richard (Berlin), among other venues. Her upcoming solo exhibition, Inland Sea, will open at the Las Cruces Art Museum’s Brannigan Cultural Center in July 2020. Packer earned her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and her BFA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She lives in Denton, Texas, where she is a faculty member in the College of Visual Arts and Design at the University of North Texas.


Image courtesy of the artist.

Dezeuze, Anna. Almost Nothing : Observations on Precarious Practices in Contemporary Art. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2017.

 

 

Collaborative exhibition: RISO BAR – opening January 25th

RISO BAR

JANUARY 25, 2020 – DECEMBER 15, 2020

Opening reception: Saturday January 25, 1-5 p.m.

Pollock Gallery

Expressway Tower Suite 101

6116 N Central Expressway, Dallas TX, 75206

The risograph is a printing technology defined by its relative simplicity and the possibilities for experimentation. Invented in Japan in the 1940s, the technology was imagined as a cost-effective and environmentally friendly alternative to the photocopy. In subsequent decades, riso has become a definitive creative tool for a global network of users including artists, designers, publishers and universities. RISO BAR is a collaborative exhibition that engages with the vast riso network, exploring the risograph’s potential as a tool for learning and experimentation.

Over the course of the exhibition, a risograph machine will be available for public use while the Pollock Gallery is open. The machine forms the core of the exhibition: it is what we learn with, practice with, and make with. Visitors to the Pollock Gallery are invited to use the risograph to create works of their own. A series of programmed workshops led by riso producers from Texas and elsewhere will allow visitors to develop and expand both their skills and knowledge of riso history and practices.These workshops will be free and open to the public.

In collaboration with SMU’s Hamon Arts Library, RISO BAR will include a curated collection of riso books and zines from all over the world, as well as fresh juices from Recipe Oak Cliff for sale to the visitors, playing off the idea of the bar.

RISO BAR is a space and long-term exhibition for collective learning and skill-building, a launching pad that will develop into an extant Riso press in Dallas after the exhibit concludes.

RISO BAR is a collaborative initiative between Strange Powers Press, May Makki, Finn Jubak, Recipe Oak Cliff and the SMU Hamon Arts Library.


 Strange Powers Press is a letterpress and risograph studio operating out of Dallas, TX.  Powered by a Riso GR 3770 and a Vandercook Proof Press, founders Mylan Nguyen and Taro Waggoner’s mission is to promote and publish interesting zines and prints as well as hold workshops on various forms of printmaking and making small publications.

Finn Jubak was born and raised in New York City, and received a BA in film from the University of Chicago in 2018. His work in photography and film engages the materiality of landscape and expressiveness of everyday objects. His images have been published in Hamburger Eyes and Aint Bad. He currently lives in Dallas.

May Makki is interested in collaborative systems and practices. She received her B.A. in Art History from the University of Chicago, where she focused on the relationship between art, technology, media, and politics. She is the curator of a private collection in Dallas, TX.   

Recipe Oak Cliff is a delicious food venture of The Susu Cultural Business Incubator dedicated to addressing food security issues and supporting health food entrepreneurs in South Oak Cliff, Texas.

The Hamon Arts Library serves SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts and the arts community. Its circulation and reference collections contain more than 180,000 items relating to the visual and performing arts. In addition, the Library has some 300 subscriptions to arts periodicals and provides access to more than 40 online resources that are specific to the arts.

A deeper dive into archival practice and art

In some ways one could argue that every artwork is an archive in the sense that the accumulated knowledge of the artist is inherently embedded within the material of the work itself, both tangible or intangible. Another way to think about it might be in terms of the idea of a trace: some artists prefer to lay bare the evidence of their process–examples include visible erasures or corrections–such that the work itself becomes an archive of its own making. However, these two examples of process are largely self-contained and self-reflective; the archival qualities of the artwork are incidental or implied, but not the primary source material for the work, nor the primary content.

Elizabeth Moran, whose current exhibition at the Hawn Gallery, “Against the Best Possible Sources,” derives directly from the artist’s research at the TIME, Inc. corporate archives, is one of many artists whose practice reflects what the art historian, Hal Foster, broadly defined as an archival impulse. Artists working in this archival manner, according to Foster, “seek to make historical information, often lost or displaced, physically present.” He adds that they, “elaborate on the found image, object, and text, and favor the installation format as they do so.”1

To accompany Elizabeth Moran’s exhibition, I assembled a small selection of books from the Hamon Arts Library’s collection that offer further context on the installation. The selection offers a starting point for deeper research into archival practice–presenting canonical, theoretical texts and short essays on the archival practices of a variety of artists. Two significant exhibition catalogues, Archive Fever: Uses of the Document in Contemporary Art, and Deep Storage: Collecting, Storing, and Archiving in Art, seek to document the importance of collecting, archiving and storing in artistic practice. As such, they offer useful introductions in the elusive effort to define archival and research-based practices in contemporary art. These two exhibitions feature work by many artists using archival materials or structures in their practice. I’ve included an additional text, The Archive, which highlights a few of these artists as well. They will be the focus of an upcoming blog post.

The Archive. Edited by Charles Merewether. London: Whitechapel; Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2006.

This text is particularly useful as an overview of how critical and theoretical notions of the archive have changed over time. It also offers brief introductions to several different strategies that artists have used as engagement with archival material. Essays included examine how the archive operates in various academic disciplines, including anthropology, critical theory, and history, and how these disciplines inform contemporary artistic practice. Artists highlighted are Christian Boltanski, Susan Hiller, Ilya Kabakov, Renée Green, Thomas Hirschhorn, and Walid Raad’s Atlas Group, both of whom will be discussed further in the next blog post.

Enwezor, Okwui. Archive Fever: Uses of the Document in Contemporary ArtNew York, N.Y.: International Center of Photography. Göttingen: Steidl Publishers, 2008.

Organized by the late, renowned Nigerian scholar and curator, Okwui Enwezor, in 2008 at the International Center for Photography in New York, Archive Fever: Uses of the Document in Contemporary Art, is not only one of the most significant exhibitions on the ways contemporary artists have engaged with archival structures and archival materials,  but also serves as an exemplary model for the curator’s ideas about how exhibitions themselves are opportunities for interrogation and research. The exhibition, in other words, functioned as an extension of the archive itself. Because it was held at the ICP, Enwezor’s exhibition focuses on artists who use archival documents–specifically photographic archives–in their investigations of history, memory, identity, and loss, which is a marked contrast from the more expansive approach used by the curators in Deep Storage.

The exhibition included work by a geographically diverse group of artists, some of whom were not well known in the United States. While the artists in the exhibition use a broad range of strategies to investigate their particular areas of interest, Enwezor unites them through their shared focus on the role of photography and film as a documentary practice. Artists include Christian Boltanski, Tacita Dean, Stan Douglas, Harun Farocki and Andrei Ujica, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Jef Geys, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Craigie Horsfield, Lamia Joreige, Zoe Leonard, Sherrie Levine, Ilán Lieberman, Glenn Ligon, Robert Morris, Walid Raad, Thomas Ruff, Anri Sala, Fazal Sheikh, Lorna Simpson, Eyal Sivan, Vivan Sundaram, Nomeda and Gediminas Urbona, and Andy Warhol.

Deep Storage: Collecting, Storing, and Archiving in Art. Edited by Ingrid Schaffner and Matthias Winzen. Munich; New York: Prestel, 1998.

Like Archive Fever, Deep Storage is a massive exhibition catalogue that provides a highly useful overview of contemporary archival practice, yet its focus is quite different. Deep Storage attempts to investigate artists’ use of not only archival structures and materials, but also the process of collecting and storage as related to museum practice. However, it shies away from arguing for a comprehensive definition. The curators divide their strategy into four distinct sites of investigation into storage: the storeroom/museum, the archive/library, the artist’s studio, and the data-space.  As a result, the exhibition covers a broad range of mediums and modes of working from over forty different artists.

For this exhibition the concept of storing information and material is the central point that unites the diverse group of artists. Organized alphabetically like an encyclopedia, it features brief essays on all participating artists, which serves as a solid starting point for deeper research.


  1. Hal Foster, “An Archival Impulse,” October 110 (Autumn, 2004): 4 http://www.jstor.org/stable/3397555.

Book title selection and blog post by Allison Klion, Hawn Gallery Project Manager.

Hawn Gallery presents Elizabeth Moran: Against the Best Possible Sources opening Sept. 6

Guided by a preoccupation with the subjectivity of facts, Elizabeth Moran uses photography, text, sound, and other forms of recorded documentation to examine the reliability of information and how evidence is often far from evident. Against the Best Possible Sources is part of an ongoing project including extensive research of the TIME, Inc. corporate archive and an investigation of the earliest history of the first professional fact-checkers, a position invented by the fledgling company in 1923 and held exclusively by women until 1971.

Reacting against the sensationalized, tabloid journalism of the era, TIME originally advertised their reporting as “written after the most exhaustive scrutiny of news-sources” with confirmed, reliable facts as its primary innovation and product. Indeed founders Henry Luce and Briton Hadden originally considered naming the weekly news magazine Facts. However this “exhaustive scrutiny” was considered women’s work from its inception. Early fact-checking manuals include instructions that the checkers must be blonde, must wear specific gloves depending on the time of year, must wear hat pins under 6-inches in length, and “must maintain their domestic list of chores.”

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