Center for Creative Photography kicks off intriguing VASE art lectures today

vase_frontfinal1516web

Courtesy of The Center for Creative Photography

Kindly take a seat and listen up. The annual Visiting Artists and Sholars lecture series, an artistic and scholarly lecture series hosted by the UA School of Art and the Center for Creative Photography, commences today and runs through April 14, 2016. All striving minds, creative individuals and otherwise would do well to attend.

VASE—or Visiting Artists and Scholars—features artists, educators, art historians, filmmakers and other relevant and burgeoning cultural influences, and aggregates individuals whose work is situated in a similar contemporary conversation.

In its second installment, this year’s theme, Shifting/Ground: Visual Art in the Age of Global Transition, features Afruz Amighi, Steve Kurtz, Alan Braddock, B. Stephen Carpenter II, Basma Alsharif and Lisa Sanditz, all of whom address current social, political, environmental and authoritarian issues both nationally and globally via interdisciplinary visual means.

According to a statement from the VASE series website, this year’s speakers “will demonstrate how art practice and scholarship can produce critical awareness in an age fraught with challenges such as the destabilization of international economic markets, widespread social uprising and increased competition for natural resources.”

The VASE lecture series posits a critical conversation for visual culture as it relates to the evolving social landscape. 

Funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Edward J. Gallagher Jr. Memorial Endowment, the School of Art Advisory Board Visiting Artists and Scholars Endowment, and the College of Fine Arts Dean’s Fund for Excellence, the VASE series is an invaluable resource for understanding the sublation of arts and life.

All VASE lectures take place at 5:30 p.m. in the Center for Creative Photography room 108, and are free to the public. Here’s the rundown of this installment’s features.

Thursday, Sept. 17 — The Architecture of Worship with Afruz Amighi

The Brooklyn-based, Tehran-born artist Afruz Amighi is the first lecturer in this season’s VASE series. Working sculpturally, Amighi will discuss her interest in manifesting a moment of suspended belief in her work as it relates to physical iterations of worship. Amighi will discuss ancient ideas of worships, shrines and the relative continuation of these ideas contemporaneously, using her own work and practice to delineate the conversation.

Tuesday, Oct. 20 — Monuments We Can Live With by Steve Kurtz

Discussing monumentality, both in terms of imposing scale and the role of the homogenized concrete structures, Steve Kurtz, artist and professor of art at State University of New York at Buffalo, finds his lecture on the notion that authoritarian culture is represented summarily by the monument. Kurtz is a founding member of the award-winning art and theatre collective, Critical Art Ensemble. Much of his work concerns BioArt, electronic civil disobedience and social criticism.

Thursday, Nov. 19 — Species of Exceptionalism: The Borders of Art History and American Studies in the Anthropocene with Alan Braddock

Alan Braddock, a Ralph H. Wark associate professor of art history and American studies at the College of William and Mary, is interested in American art and culture from mid-century to present. He will lecture at the CCP on the intersection of ecology and the politics of nature as a means to move scholarship beyond the exceptionalism of human beings and their works. Braddock will introduce considerations on species as an integral point in opening interdisciplinary borders.

Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016 — Water Obeject(ive)s: Artistic Interventions, Public Pedagogies and Collaborative Curricula with B. Stephen Carpenter II

Addressing the global water crisis as a human rights call to action, artist, activist and Penn State University professor B. Stephen Carpenter II will be discussing art-informed responses that positively intervene with this global affair. Focusing on collaborative working and participatory inquiry as a means of achieving change in communities affected by unsafe water, Carpenter will discuss current efforts in specific to his own work as well as the state of The African Diaspora Water Crisis Curriculum Project.

Thursday, March 3, 2016 — Beyond the Ruins of Civilization with Basma Alsharif

Born in Kuwait, of Palestinian origin, artist and filmmaker Basma Alsharif’s lecture will concern political landscapes and the condition of a post-Palestinian perspective in a changing civilization. Discussed within an autobiographical context, Alsharif’s lecture will be paired with examples of her own work and practice, which has taken her from Cairo, Beirut, Sharjah, to Amman and the Gaza Strip. The lecture will expand from Israel-Palestine to a general discussion of the human condition in politically shifting environments.

Thursday, April 14, 2016 — Lisa Sanditz

No information on the content of her lecture is available as of yet. However, painter Sanditz primarily addresses the state of the economy and culture through specific sites she locates within the American landscape. Her previous work specifically relates the condition of single industry cities in China and their relation to consumerism in the U.S., wherein the Chinese landscape is affected.


Follow Audrey Molloy on  Twitter.

Share this article