Blog

North to South, Berliner Voices: My Corner

By Lynne Margaret Brown, Cohort ’14

Having being born and raised in New York City is the main inspiration for most of my artwork. New York, and specifically Queens, exemplifies the idea of the multicultural and multi-dimensional metropolis. This life experience, especially the constant influx of changing immigrant and international culture, has given me a sense of an internal Diaspora. In other words, I am not directly rooted to one space but rather rooted to the consistent chaos and change of contemporary ideas and culture blending with history. 

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Chinati Dawn

By Deborah Bouchette, Cohort ’12

From several directions, we drift towards the gathering place in onesies and twosies, pre-dawn and hushed, as if druids drawn to a sacred grove. But this place has little in the way of arboreal sheltering, for it is in the dry Chihuahan desert of south Texas: our own shadows are only shorter than those of a few scrawny cacti and those made by what I might call two giant “specific structures.” These structures are Donald Judd’s repurposed army artillery sheds, and not your backyard-garden-shed variety.

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Vision Gesture

By Wilson Hurst, Cohort ’13

Responding to the conditions that are existent, using the apparatus of sensation constitutes perception. The requirements of universality ensure a certain level of functional similarity offering the possibility of communication. Yet all things perceived also recede beyond their immediately given aspects. Awareness involves sensation activation leading to perception, while critical observation requires attention. The necessary distinction is indefinite between stimulation conditions that will produce, or not produce, a perceptive observation. 

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Where African-town Begins

By yon tande, Cohort '13

In a mythical village created over time, from the vibrations of Africa, sits a man both humble and knowledgeable about the history of a people. In his magical land of beads, the man known only as Dabls positions himself on the edge between now and then. The now is an ever-expanding world of iron, rocks, beads and mirrors. The then is comprised of the imagery of an intuited ancient land. “Restore yourselves,” he instills. I interpret that to mean, bring yourself back to a state where your history, a history of a rich African lineage, is valid and celebrated.

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Artistic Drama

By Jean Bundy, Cohort ’11

Cuban artist Tania Bruguera is the 2016 CAA keynote speaker. I wrote this short article after interviewing her for Chicago Weekly, February 23, 2006. It is of interest to me, in light of current political unrest, to see the ironies in this interview decades later. 

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Frieze London 2015: The Aesthetics of Unification

By Rowynn Dumont, Cohort ’13

The Frieze London 2015 art show was a mixture of surrealist pop art, iconic antiquities, and the extraordinary alongside the effete. The galleries represented were from all over the world, not just from Paris and New York as one might expect. Artists included were your usual big name classics, such as Andy Warhol, Pablo Picasso and Willem de Kooning. However, you also had up-and-coming artists such as female Iraqi painter Hayv Kahraman and African artist Kudzanai Chiurai.

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From the Other Side

By Deb Bouchette, Cohort ’12

Many of our studies follow the development of the philosophy of subjectivity-objectivity, or simply the “Other,” that really took root with Descartes and Humanism. To riff on that split, I just passed my orals, and am now on the Other side from where I began at IDSVA. Well, really, I am on an Other side—for if grace is with me, there will be at least one more Othering: a successful dissertation defense.

 

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Sensorium

By Wilson Hurst, Cohort ’13

Concerned with the human condition in relation to the universal, coupled with modes of transcendence, the constant flux of available information provides a plethora of stimulus. Plato’s problem of sensory source insufficiency to account for deficient knowledge does not accurately describe inexhaustible environmental conditions. Corresponding to distinctive varieties of knowledge, the theoretical and poetical depend on the practical, to which action is engaged. 

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Imperfect Cinema

By Tania Romero, Cohort ’12 

In the late 1960's, Cuban filmmaker and screenwriter Julio Garcia Espinosa used the term “imperfect cinema” to describe film production outside of the booming Latin American film industries. In his seminal essay For an Imperfect Cinema, Espinosa describes imperfect cinema as “the opposite of a cinema principally dedicated to celebrating results, the opposite of a self-sufficient and contemplative cinema, the opposite of a cinema which ‘beautifully illustrates’ ideas or concepts which we already possess.” Imperfect cinema is by nature, oppositional and unconventional.

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Beauty/Grief

By Whitney V. Hunter, Cohort ’13
It might be a common idea within the dance world that the works of Martha Graham have been trumped by an overall opinion that her attention to form is outdated and old fashioned. What perhaps is missing in this judgment is the ultimate contribution of her complete message. Not in the works or technique alone does the depth of her involvement lie. Rather, as she has stated, her art is in many ways an effort to understand the “inner landscape” of humanity.

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Insights to Excite

By Tania Romero, Cohort ’12 

In March, I was asked to participate in a panel discussion, Media Arts Education: Insights to Excite!, held at South by Southwest EDU, alongside Cory Wilkerson, a project manager from the State Education Agency Directors of Arts Education. The panel was moderated and organized by Lakita Edwards, a specialist from the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA). As panelists, we raised questions about the implementation of media arts standards and the exciting new opportunities within the developing educational landscape of youth culture. The conversation also focused on how media arts are a unique discipline with a new aesthetic.

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Place of Judgment

By Lynne Margaret Brown, Cohort ’14

Founded in 1969 for practicing and professional artists and designers, The Scuola Internazionale di Grafica di Venezia is a school and international studio located in Venice, Italy. Here they offer courses and workshops in printmaking, bookmaking, calligraphy, and graphic design. In 1996, they established an international artist in residence program. This past summer, during our semester IDSVA residency, I had the opportunity to work on my own printmaking practice as well as become a part of the staff at the Scuola Internazionale di Grafica. In December, I was awarded a fellowship at the Scuola, began my work in mid July, and continued my position until the end of September. 

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Gavart Gallery Show

By Amalya Nane Tumanian, Cohort ’14

A little more than a year ago, I came across an IDSVA advertisement on the internet. Becoming a student at this amazing school has been transformative. Not only has my life been altered by a new philosophical appreciation, but also it has been enriched through wonderful associations with outstanding people. My Paris exhibition is a life-long dream that came true through providence, resulting directly from initiative taken during my IDSVA residency last summer.

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SELMA

By Whitney V. Hunter, Cohort ’13

SELMA, a 2015 film directed by Ava DuVernay, chronicles the devastating and difficult times of demonstrations, dissent, and civil unrest preceding the protest march lead by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to Selma, Alabama. The film shows explicitly the determination of King, and his supporters, to get the government involved in collaborative efforts towards justice. Unfortunately, not until the gruesome attacks against the demonstrators were shown on national television, broadcast into the homes of millions sitting safely, did the movement matter.

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Subjective Response

By Wilson Hurst, Cohort ’13

Art as a frame of reference can exceed acculturation. Careful and measured, aesthetics interrogates the nuances of understanding, in a medium that is irreducible to any other idiom. Not only is art able go beyond current cultural awareness, but also can transcend the artist making the work. With or without individual experience, reality will persist. Yet subjective observation is uniquely particular, subject to a range of structural and conditional reactions. Many contingencies contribute to the composite mesh of understanding. The challenge of life is to filter and select in an ever-becoming quest of value selection, identifying that which is worthy.

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Mapping Brooklyn

By Simonetta Moro, VP for Academic Affairs and IDSVA Director

There are artists who work purely off their imagination, and artists who like to document or interpret something of the world around them. I partake in both sensibilities. A key aspect of my practice is to mine the historical archives in search for evidence of past geographical, topographic, and architectural traces of places I am emotionally attached to.  So, when Elizabeth Ferrer, Vice President of Contemporary Art at BRIC House in Brooklyn, invited me to be part of the exhibition Mapping Brooklyn, I took it as a chance to explore the area around where I live, and specifically focus on one feature that defines my neighborhood, the Prospect Expressway, built in the 1950s under the supervision of Robert Moses. 

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Visual Culture in the Caribbean

By Chris Johnson, Advisor 

February is the birth month of reggae star Bob Marley. In Jamaica, to honor his legacy, there are concerts, celebrations and an International Reggae Conference. I was invited by the Institute of Jamaica to present in a series of talks called “Grounation.” I fled Manhattan on a snowy Friday afternoon, where the temperature was seventeen degrees, to arrive in Jamaica that evening to clear skies and a warm eighty-four! The Institute is comprised of six entities that include the National Gallery which is the main repository of contemporary art. My direct host was the Jamaica Music Museum where the theme of this year’s series was the drum in Africa and its diasporas.

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Quinceañera

By Tania Romero Cohort 12

I recently screened my short film Quinceañera at the Mexic-Arte Museum in Austin, Texas. The Mexic-Arte Museum is dedicated to cultural enrichment and education through the collection, preservation and presentation of traditional and contemporary Mexican, Latino, and Latin American art and culture to promote dialogue and develop understanding for visitors of all ages.

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Elaborate and Intricate, "Shithead"

By Whitney V. Hunter, Cohort 13

British artist, Chris Ofili’s first American survey exhibition at the New Museum proves a wonderfully full and engaging exposition. Large, elaborate and intricate works: paintings on canvas, drawings, and sculptures spanning his career, fill three floors of the museum.  Each floor makes a substantial mark on the mind; for me the second floor captures my interest most vividly. Coming in contact with two sculptures, I am reminded about the power of artistic expression and re-interpretation

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