Gale Memorial Lecture Series
Gale Memorial Lecture Series Fall 2021
No time for poetry but exactly what is
Poetic thinking in art.
Organized by Mark McKnight, Assistant Professor of Art & Art History
On the subject of “Poetic Thinking”, Richard Rorty cautions “that we should not study a novel or any other work of art the way that we would say, a geologic formation or the spleen – as objects of scientific knowledge. Because when we do so, we lose sight of the great capacity of art: the way that art renders us sensitive to ourselves, and to our world, precisely by not committing to the scientific method. We overlook its ability to afford us insight and wisdom, which art is able to do because it remains free from any restraining system of thought, any rigorous method.” Amir Eshel writes of “poetic thinking” that it “can offer us a crucial mode of reflection on how we interact with life around us, with the world at large.”
The individuals selected – CA Conrad, Cecilia Vicuña, Shannon Ebner, Demian DinéYazhi’ and Jibade-Khalil Huffman – are thinking poetically. Through either their unique engagement with the written word, the intersections of image and text or figuratively speaking, through their foregrounding of the imaginative, metaphoric capacity of art, these artists are offering us the “crucial mode of reflection” of which Eshel Speaks.
This lecture series takes place over five consecutive Wednesdays at 4 pm beginning October 6th.
Additionally, there will be two special performances:
Tuesday, October 19 Demian DinéYazhi’ ***
Monday, November 1 Cecilia Vicuña
***co-sponsored by The North American Studies Department and The Institute for American Indian Research
CAConrad has been working with the ancient technologies of poetry and ritual since 1975. They are the author of AMANDA PARADISE: Resurrect Extinct Vibration (Wave Books, 2021). Other titles include While Standing in Line for Death and Ecodeviance. The Book of Frank is now available in 9 different languages. They received a Creative Capital grant, a Pew Fellowship, a Lambda Literary Award, and a Believer Magazine Book Award. They teach at Columbia University in New York City and Sandberg Art Institute in Amsterdam.
Jibade-Khalil Huffman (b. 1981) is an artist and writer whose video and photo works use found, archival material and contemporary ephemera to address slippage in memory and language, particular to race and visibility. Lyrical strophes of text and densely-composed imagery produce objects of perpetual flux, indexed by accumulating layers which challenge normative symbolic and semiotic hierarchies. Through projection and repetition, Huffman’s work evokes the untranslatable, ruminating on the liminal qualities of singular experiences through narrative and graphic rhythms.
Huffman’s work has been exhibited in recent solo and group exhibitions at Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, OH; Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, Charleston, SC; Tufts University Art Galleries, Medford, MA; Magenta Plains, New York, NY; Anat Ebgi, Los Angeles, CA; Ballroom Marfa, Marfa, TX; The Kitchen, NYC, NY; MoCA Tucson, AZ; Swiss Institute, New York, NY; Portland Institute of Contemporary Art, Portland, OR; The Jewish Museum, New York, NY; Institute of Contemporary Art Philadelphia, PA; The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York City, NY; and the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA. Huffman received an MFA from Brown University (Literary Arts), an MFA from University of Southern California (Studio Art) and a BFA from Bard College. His work is in the permanent collections of the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA; Kadist, San Francisco, CA / Paris, France; Pierce & Hill Harper Arts Foundation, Detroit, MI; and the Studio Museum in Harlem, Harlem, NY. Huffman is also the author of three books of poems: Sleeper Hold (Fence, 2015), James Brown is Dead (Future Plan and Program, 2011), and 19 Names For Our Band (Fence, 2008). He lives and works in North Carolina.