For this post, I’d like you to select two works of art from the “When Home Won’t Let You Stay: Migration through Contemporary Art” OR from the “Crossing Lines, Construction Home: Displacement and Belonging in Contemporary Art” exhibition.You’ll notice that the works are made by artists who were born in many parts of the world. Try to identify at least two made by artists who originate in two different places.
I’d like to hear from you about the following: How do each of these works, in your view, reflect something powerful—on both the micro/personal and macro/societal level--about the plight of people migrating from one place to another?How do the two (or sometimes more) artists use their medium (painting, photography, assemblage, video, mixed media, installation, sculpture) to make an impact?And how do each of these works, in your view, elicit a reaction from the viewer (e.g.—you and anyone else in the museum)?
Please paste photographs of the two works you chose to address into your response.You should be able to upload anything you take on your cell phone to your computer and then onto the post.Make sure you identify what the image is (artist, title, date).
To review the logistical details on this assignment:
Shortly after we return from break, we will be talking about the plight of refugees coming to the United States for myriad reasons.You would have to have been living under a rock these past few years not to have heard about the feverish debate over “build the wall!”/ “we’re building the wall!” / “we’ve tunneled under that wall!”
Fleeing one’s “home” country is not an easy decision, as we’ve often discussed in class.But there are moments, as poet Warsaw Shire writes so eloquently (for his powerful poem titled “Home,” see https://www.care.org/sites/default/files/lesson_1_-_home-poem-by-warsan-shire.pdf), that home is “the mouth of a shark” and one simply has no choice but to leave.At other times, people flee for the frequently spoken of “a better life,” for education, for jobs, for security, for freedom.
It’s incredibly fortunate that we have not one, but two museum exhibitions in town that brilliantly address this topic.The ICA (Institute of Contemporary Art) is currently hosting an extraordinary exhibition, “When Home Won’t Let You Stay: Migration through Contemporary Art” (closing January 26)—and it’s really extraordinary.It’s not huge but it’s super smart and thought-provoking and it’s a must see.I think you’ll find it enormously rewarding.In addition, the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University has an exhibition titled “Crossing Lines, Construction Home: Displacement and Belonging in Contemporary Art” (closing January 5) that also is exceptionally enlightening.
I would take all of you on a field trip but we’re out quite a bit this year (Schindler, DC, Eastern Europe) and I don’t want to push it with my BLS colleagues/administration.So here’s what I’m asking you to do between now and January 8th:
- If you would like to see the exhibition at the ICA, go when it’s open and see the exhibition.The exhibition is on one half of the 4th floor of the museum. If you’ve never been the ICA, it’s in the Seaport District, not far from Fan Pier (where graduation is) and the Moakley Courthouse; its address, for all you GPS lovers, is 25 Harbor Shore Drive, Boston 02210.(Closest T stops are on the silver line.)You will NOT have to pay when you go, because the ICA is free for those 17 and under and you simply walk up to the desk and say you are 17 (or under) and they will give you an admission ticket.
- The ICA is closed Mondays and on Christmas and New Year’s Day.Its hours are:
- Tue + Wed: 10-5
- Thu + Fri: 10-9 (except the first Friday of every month, when it is open 10-5)
- Sat + Sun: 10-5
- See the exhibition at the ICA.Make sure you watch a significant part of the videos in the exhibition as well as see the works of art.Make sure you don’t miss Anthony Romero’s installation that addresses issues related to East Boston (ask one of the security folks if you don’t find it easily).
- If you would like to visit the exhibition at the Fogg, go when it’s open!The Fogg Art Museum is on the Harvard main campus at 32 Quincy Street in Cambridge.(Closest T stop is Harvard Square on the red line).The Fogg is free to everyone ages 18 and under and also to all students with an ID, so bring your ID.
- The hours at the Fogg are:
- Open every day from 10-5 (but closed at 1 pm on Christmas Eve, all day Christmas, closed at 3 pm on New Year’s Eve and all day New Year’s Day).
- You may take photos in the exhibitions (without flash).If you photograph a work of art, my suggestion is that you also photograph the text label with it so that you can reference who the artist(s) is.
- And then after you see one of the two exhibitions, you are going to post about it (see the prompt ON THE OTHER OPPOSITE SIDE OF THIS SHEET).I’d ask you to paste a photo of something you saw in the exhibition and comment on it within the post.