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.”

Continue reading “Hawn Gallery presents Elizabeth Moran: Against the Best Possible Sources opening Sept. 6”

The Illusion of Being: the artists’ interview with Cravens, Faircloth, and Whitt

Thank you to each of you for your willingness to participate in this interview. This exhibition, The Illusion of Being, is a captivating exhibition in the Hawn Gallery and I hope that many more visitors at the university and in the arts community take advantage of seeing it before it closes on May 17th. It has been phenomenal to have this installation in the Hawn Gallery at Hamon.

To begin, each body of work by the three of you has a very strong affiliation with the concept of illusion. Could you discuss how this concept, whether through its creation in photography or other design, served as a lodestar in the development of your work?

Lynné: My work in The Illusion of Being is a culmination of 10 years of research and exploration.  It is hard to say how this work will influence the art I make next, but I can definitely see how I got to this point.  I have been working with origami and photography for quite some time now.  I am interested in how the combination of the two mediums transforms both the image and the form into something new.  With the work in The Illusion of Being, I added another layer with the introduction of the mirror.  I like how the mirror creates a horizon into another dimension, showing a different side and perspective to the objects.  I was also interested in the fact that the viewer could see themselves in the mirror, essentially becoming part of the piece.  This work not only morphs, distorts, and changes my body; but it also incorporates the body of the viewer. 

When creating artworks, I am always translating my emotions and personal experiences into a physical object.  What I am essentially doing is translating what it means to be human into an object.  When Ross suggested the title for the show as The Illusion of Being, I thought it fit perfectly with the concepts all three of us continually make work about.  It really sums up what we do.  These objects are only simulations, they are not the actual experiences.  However, through these objects we can approach these emotions and experiences from a different vantage point.

Continue reading “The Illusion of Being: the artists’ interview with Cravens, Faircloth, and Whitt”

FREE: Material Horizon Workshop: Digital Negatives – May 3rd at 11 am

Digital Negatives
with Ross Faircloth, Artist & Ashley Whitt, Artist and Director of Visual Resources

Friday, May 3rd
11:00 am – 1:00 pm
The Darkroom, OFAC 2625

Using Adobe Photoshop, participants in this workshop will learn how to create digital negatives which will then be used to make silver gelatin prints in the darkroom.

Computers, software, and materials provided. No prior experience required.

Space limited, 10 participants  – Sign-up sheet located outside of the Darkroom, OFAC 2625

This workshop is presented in conjunction with the exhibition The Illusion of Being (on view until Sun, May 19th) in the Hawn Gallery and co-sponsored by the Hamon Arts Library. Lunch for participants will be provided courtesy of the Student Art Association

Thank you to Ashley Whitt, Ross Faircloth, Eileen Maxson, Senior Lecturer in Photography; Jonathan Garcia-Molina, Visiting Lecturer in Photography; and Mike Morris, Artist, for their collaboration and organization of this workshop.

Hawn Gallery presents: Information/Object: Late 20th-Early 21st Century Artists’ Books

The Hawn Gallery presents

Information/Object: Late 20th – Early 21st Century Artists’ Books

On view: February 1 – March 8, 2019
at the Hawn Gallery, located in the Hamon Arts Library, SMU

Public opening reception Friday, February 1st, 5 – 7 pm
Gallery Talk at 5:45 pm

The contemporary artist’s book is a cultural phenomenon that has changed the landscape of artistic production. It has now replaced the livre d’artiste – a luxury item combining images with poetry or fiction – with works that are inexpensive, formally innovative, modest in scale, and frequently self-made by artists.

Contemporary artists who explore the book format have challenged the form of the book as an information package, extended the idea of the book as object, and introduced a new medium of artistic expression. The tremendous explosion of titles of artist book works and zines has made the artist’s book-work an accessible and affordable work of art, introducing key contemporary artists to an alternate audience. The resulting dialog between the artist, the page, and the reader is consistently up for grabs, expanded and transformed through unexpected formats and novel, timely, and often controversial content.

Drawing upon SMU Libraries’ collections, publishers, and collectors of artist’s books, this exhibition surveys the recent history of one of the most important cultural trends in contemporary art.


Featured image: Courtesy of LaGail Davis, General Operations Manager, Hamon, and curatorial assistant

Hawn Gallery presents: ARK: Featuring New Experimental 35 MM Film by Mike Morris

The Hawn Gallery presents

 ARK

Featuring a New Experimental Film by Mike Morris

 

On view: August 20 – November 4, 2018
at the Hawn Gallery, located in the Hamon Arts Library at SMU

Public Opening Reception Friday, September 14, 5 -7pm
Mike Morris will give a gallery talk at 5:45 pm

ARK is a cinematic installation featuring a film by Michael A. Morris made from archival 35mm film prints held in the G. William Jones Film and Video Collection. This work is installed on a looping film system devised by the Collection’s Jeremy Spracklen and Scott Martin, and in conjunction with Brad Miller from Film-Tech Cinema Systems. The looping film is a new mosaic of images and sounds created by contact printing and hand processing of short lengths of films selected from the archive. Highlighting the mechanics of projection typically hidden from the viewer, the space of the Hawn Gallery performs as a small cinema. The metaphor of both Noah’s Ark and the Ark of the Covenant serves as a parallel for the archive as it rescues hundreds of films from the deluge of time. These films are reactivated by bringing them back into the light and onto the screen in a new looping film installation. Such assemblage embodies our cinematic heritage.

Continue reading “Hawn Gallery presents: ARK: Featuring New Experimental 35 MM Film by Mike Morris”

Remixing the News – KERA’s Frame of Mind & the Jones Film & Video Collection event

Join the G. William Jones Film & Video Collection for an advanced screening of an upcoming episode of KERA’s Frame of Mind – Remixing the News on Tuesday, November 14th at 7:30 pm in the O’Donnell Hall, Owen Arts Center, SMU. This long-running, local series features a collection of independent documentaries and shorts highlighting Texas-based artists and filmmakers working just outside of the mainstream. The program, now in its 25th year, is produced, curated, and hosted by artistic director for the Video Association of Dallas, Bart Weiss, and it offers a platform to creators whose work and vision might never be seen.

This particular episode of Frame of Mind features work by local artists, including Moving Image Curator for the Jones Collection, Jeremy Spracklen, and former adjunct instructor at SMU, Michael Morris. Culled from over 100 hours of 16mm footage from the Jones Collection’s WFAA Newsfilm archive, these shorts reappropriate, recontextualize, and deconstruct media images of the 1960s and 1970s as a way to not only understand the radical cultural and historical shifts of this tumultuous era, but also to spotlight how the media processes and presents these changes.  

Following the screening, Weiss will host a Q & A with several of the contributing artists to discuss their work.

Films and filmmakers include:

2,000 Hours in Dallas by Jeremy Spracklen

The Story of Jane X by Christian Vasquez

Dallas Circle by Justin Wilson

Lawmen & Cowpokes by Gordon K. Smith

History Lessons by Steve Baker

Beyond 10 by Carmen Menza

Glass by Madison McMakin 

Poofs are New by Blaine Dunlap

Divided by Michael Thomas & Dakota Ford

The Night in the Last Branches by Michael Alexander Morris

Echoes of the Past by Jeremy Spracklen


Blog post: Courtesy of Jeremy Spracklen, Moving Image Curator, G. William Jones Film & Video Collection, Hamon Arts Library, SMU
Image: film still of Spracklen’s Echoes of the Past, courtesy of Jeremy Spracklen