September 12, 4:30pm
Edith Kinney Gaylord Cornerstone Arts Center Main Space
Free and open to the public
An accomplished musician as well as visual artist, Reza Derakshani is interested in combining artistic traditions and media. Trained in classical Persian musical styles, Mr. Derakshani’s recent musical projects combine global and devotional styles with jazz, rock and other modern forms. He has collaborated with a diverse group of artists, including John Densmore of The Doors, Madonna, Branford Marsalis, poet-philosopher Robert Bly, author Deepak Chopra, and choreographer Bill T. Jones, among many others. Mr. Derakshani often performs in proximity to his own vibrant paintings, or works with dancers or poets on collaborative projects. For the performance at Colorado College, he will collaborate with dancers to present an improvisation-based performance. Mr. Derakshani’s paintings are featured in the exhibition Cross-Currents: Tradition and Innovation in Contemporary Art of the Islamic World. A public reception will take place in IDEA Space following the performance. Sponsored by the Dean’s Office.
September 3 – October 24, 2012, IDEA Space
(closed September 26 — 30 for Colorado College’s block break)
What will Islamic societies look like in the twenty-first century? While political analysts make predictions, artists within the Islamic world also intervene in these debates, often with profound impact on cultural discourse. As Robin Wright notes in the 2011 prologue to her book Rock the Casbah: Rage and Rebellion Across the Islamic World, “The profound political stirrings are supported by a strong culture of change. … The social transformations are as pivotal as the political upheavals. Activists are not only adapting the technology of Facebook and Twitter to their causes. They are also experimenting with culture — from comedy to theater, poetry to song — as an idiom to communicate who they are and to end isolation caused by extremists within their ranks.” Focusing the lens on contemporary visual arts, Cross-Currents: Tradition and Innovation in Contemporary Art of the Islamic World presents the work of seven international artists whose work lays claim to and honors their varied and complex heritages, while simultaneously challenging accepted norms.
Part of a year-long series of exhibitions, performances, films, and events that explore the elastic capacity of the arts to challenge, expand, preserve, and disseminate aspects of global Islamic cultures, Cross-Currents examines the intersections between historical practices and contemporary artistic priorities. Employing a wide range of media, the seven featured artists each adapt or appropriate aesthetic strategies and themes from older Persian and Arab traditions to address contemporary issues including: the thin line between media coverage and war propaganda; the devastation of urban decay; the challenges of creating and maintaining sacred spaces within other cultural contexts; the experiences of exile and return; and the construction of gender identities in contemporary Islamic cultures.
The artists’ approaches to traditional themes and forms vary significantly: some engage directly with the past by merging traditional forms with contemporary media, while others merely hint at traditional aesthetic precedents. Yet while remaining culturally, aesthetically, and philosophically distinct, these artists commonly share the desire to probe the tension between the desire to honor the past and to subject it to intense interrogation. – Jessica Hunter-Larsen, Curator
Featuring: Azra Akšamija; Ayad Alkadhi; Shoja Azari; Reza Derakshani; Hayv Kahraman; Naiza H. Khan; Soody Sharifi.
This exhibition and associated programming is made possible by generous support of the Colorado College Cultural Attractions Fund, the Dean’s Office, and the NEH Professorship. Special thanks to: Leila Heller Gallery, New York; The Third Line Gallery and the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Shehab Gargash, Dubai; Rossi & Rossi, London; and Renaissance Creative.
Image: Ayad Alkadi
Will Not Be Silenced (I Will Not Be Silenced) 2011
Acrylic, pen & yarn on canvas (Courtesy of the artist and Leila Heller Gallery, New York, NY)
Senior Art Majors Exhibition, 2012
April 24 – July 14, 2012
Lost and Found: A North Sea Collaboration: Carl Reed and Thomas Claesson
(IDEA will be closed May 16 — 28, 2012)
Tuesday, April 24, 4:30 – 6pm:
Reception with Carl Reed
This exhibit results from a narrative of unexpected relationships and circumstances. Thomas Claesson, who lives on an island off the west coast of Sweden, has assembled an enormous collection of “lost” objects – items that have washed up on shore, been abandoned or unearthed, or acquired through inheritance. When Claesson met Carl Reed, a sculptor who has worked for years with found objects, the two sensed the potential to realize an unusual collaborative project. The exhibition Lost and Found traces the dynamic of their collaborative process and explores ideas such as the urge to collect, layers of time, recycling, and the blurred distinction between art that is found and art that is made.
March 27- April 17, 2012
Thursday, March 29, 4:30 – 6pm: Reception with Matvei Yankelevich
The Press at Colorado College welcomes writer, translator, publisher and printer Matvei Yankelevich as the Block 7 Visiting Faculty. Yankelevich is founder of Ugly Duckling Presse, a nonprofit art and publishing collective producing small to mid-size editions of new poetry, translations, and artist books based in Brooklyn, New York, and author of several books and chapbooks. While in residence, he will teach a course in letterpress printing and oversee The Chapbook in the 21st Century: Efficiency / Excess / Ephemerality, a collaborative exhibition at Coburn Gallery featuring books and ephemera from several small press publishers, including Ugly Duckling Presse, as well as works created at The CC Press during the class.
March 27 – April 14, 2012
Puppets, politics and pop music: Taiwanese and Chinese puppet theatre in the 20th century
Tuesday, March 27, 4:30 – 6pm: Opening Reception and IDEA Cabaret Conversation with Robin Ruizendaal, Director Lin Liu-Hsin Puppet Theatre Museum
This exhibition presents puppet theatre as both an art form and a window on the social and political developments in Taiwan and China in the 20th century. With numerous exquisite and antique puppets, stages, artifacts and photographs, the exhibition is a unique voyage through puppet theatre and social history, as well as an aesthetic pleasure.
The Taiyuan Company performs innovative visual music theatre with puppets, actors, video and musicians, and cooperates with artists from many different backgrounds and nationalities. The company’s initial inspiration derived from the Taiwanese glove puppet theatre that has a rich and varied tradition in which music, carving, embroidery and a delicate performance technique all come together. Taiyuan was founded 12 years ago by Paul Lin and managing/artistic director Robin Ruizendaal to continue this tradition, while at the same time creating new modern theatre performances within a distinct Taiwanese context.
This model of conserving tradition and creating new plays has proved to be very successful. The company’s shows have been performed in over 30 countries at venues such as the Purcell Room and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the rainforests of Central America, the Traditional Opera Theatre in Hanoi, Union Square in San Francisco, Casa Mila in Barcelona, the countryside of Cambodia and, of course, the squares and theatres of old Taipei.
The company is based at the Lin Liu-Hsin Puppet Theatre Museum in Dadaocheng, the old centre of Taipei.
Members of the company will be in residence at Colorado College this spring and will perform Taipei By Night May 9 — 12. Check the CC calendar for details. www.coloradocollege.edu/events
Thursday, April 12, 3:30-5:30pm , Worner Quad on the Colorado College Campus.
Northern Cheyenne artist, performer, and curator Bently Spang explores the history and contemporary meaning of the Plains tipi in this interactive performance. Using sound, lights and video projection, Spang engages in an extended conversation with the tipi – the largest culturally resonant object in the Plains culture. What would the tipi say if it could speak? The performance will evolve to include additional interactions and end with an open invitation for the audience to dance.
February 24 – March 14, 2012
Friday, February 24, 4:30 – 6pm: Reception with Wendy Red Star
At the turn of the 20th century, collectors began acquiring Native American objects with increasing fervor. Often, collectors created specific display areas in their homes to showcase their treasures. Called “Indian Corners,” these areas typically comprised a hodgepodge of ritual objects, textiles, ceramics, and images. Created and curated by artist and scholar Wendy Red Star, the IDEA Space exhibition Indian Corner examines the politics and poetics of collecting both authentic and commercially produced Native objects. The exhibition features a kitsch version of a 21st Century “Indian Corner” juxtaposed with objects from the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center’s collection of Native American objects.
February 21 – March 9, 2012
Tuesday, February 21, 4:30 – 6pm: Opening Reception with Dan Raffin
Colorado College Professor of Art Dan Raffin presents recent sculpture created using computer-aided design program. He writes about the project: “These objects represent the beginning of a project using CAD software to design three-dimensional forms that are then materialized as empty volumes. They will not help you do anything, whether that is to put your feet up, be instructed, inspired or pleased. They would rather resist good intentions with obstructive superficiality.”
Monday, February 13, 2012
4:30 – 6pm: Screening of “a woman like that”
6 — 7pm Encounters with Artemisia: Panel Discussion
Edith Kinney Gaylord Cornerstone Arts Center Film Screening Room, Free
Taught to paint by her father Orazio, a renowned follower of Caravaggio, Artemisia Gentileschi was one of the first female artists to achieve recognition in her own time. Her remarkable life story includes a famous rape trial when she was 17 years old, friendship and support from Galileo and the Medici, and most striking for her time – a career as a working, professional artist.
“a woman like that” is the first personal documentary directed by Weissbrod, who has been working in film for close to thirty years. In 2002, Weissbrod was at a career crossroads, mired in directing empty reality television. Fascinated by Artemisia’s story, Weissbrod determines to take a risk and make her own work – but is mysteriously denied permission to film the once-in-a-lifetime retrospective of Artemisia and her father Orazio at the St. Louis Art Museum. Undeterred, she dons a spy camera and goes ‘undercover,’ secretly filming the exhibition. This bold act sets her on a 5-year journey, as she travels to Italy, where curators and collectors open their museums and homes. This unconventional but heartfelt hunt upends typical artist biographies and delivers instead a funny, engaging and all together different kind of documentary. “a woman like that” is a freewheeling tribute to an artist whose own bold life and inspiring message leaps across centuries to speak to us all. The enduring power of storytelling – in paintings, in films and in our lives is revealed, as the filmmaker learns that who gets to tell the story matters, and that maybe she too, can be “a woman like that.”
Following the film, Ellen Weissbrod will be joined by Gale Murray, Professor of Art History; Rebecca Tucker, Professor of Art History; and Sherrie Wolf, featured artist, for a discussion on the legacy of Artemisia Gentileschi.