A Year of Creativity: Session #2

This is Me, This is Also Me exhibition (viewing video by Kenyan/British artist Grace Ndiritu) — at McMaster Museum of Art.

This is Me, This is Also Me exhibition
(viewing video by Kenyan/British artist Grace Ndiritu) — at McMaster Museum of Art.

The McMaster Museum of Art invites McMaster graduate students to the second session of the “Year of Creativity”, a series of workshops that will engage graduate students in creative thinking through the Museum’s inspired space and art collection.

design_2Exploring art and the brain:
problems and possibilities
A Year of Creativity: Session #2
Thursday November 27, 5 – 7 pm

Dinner provided

Here’s an outline of the evening…

November 27 Exploring art and the brain:
problems and possibilities
5 – 5:30 Sally McKay, Instructor, McMaster School of the Arts.Exploring art and the brain: problems and possibilities. This seminar will consider art and neuroscience to challenge the mind/body split.
5:30 – 6 Art-making activity led by Sally McKay.
6 – 6:20 Tour of This Is Me, This Is Also Me exhibition.This group exhibition of Canadian-based and international works focuses on self-representation and self-portraiture.
6:20 – 6:45 Creative activity: Mind-mapping – a creative way to visualize our thoughts, ideas, issues and the connections between them. Mind maps let us see what we think.

For more information please contact Irena Radisevic (radisei@mcmaster.ca) or Nicole Knibb (knibbn@mcmaster.ca).

Space is limited. To register please visit our Eventbrite page

Directions to the Museum

 

A True Opening

A guest blog by Ben Robinson,
4th year English Student,
McMaster University

Since last spring Gio Diokno and I have been working with Professors Brophy and Hladki as they have been preparing their exhibit for the McMaster Museum of Art entitled “This is Me, This is also Me.” As I was thinking and writing about the many works that were going to be included in the exhibit I grew more and more excited for the exhibit to finally open. The opening of the exhibit would mean that the various pieces that I’d seen thumbnails of on the internet or read long academic essays about would finally be physically in front of me.

However, I also had ideas about what an opening at a university gallery would be like. Now I had been to the McMaster Museum of Art many times before and always had great experiences, but for some reason in my mind an opening was an entirely different thing.  I grew anxious as I imagined myself mingling in a room filled with professors, talking to them about my puny papers and how I’d just been to the gallery the week previous for my first year art history elective. I figured by virtue of its association with the University it would be a largely academic affair and as an undergraduate, I’d probably stick out a little bit.

But as I made my way into the gallery on Thursday night I very quickly recognized a friend in the line that was spilling right out the front doors of the museum. And as I entered to the smiling faces of my supervisors I was shocked to see such a mixed room. There were first years who had come straight from a lecture, research assistants who had been working on the show for months, members of the community who had come by on a whim, and even a couple of children running around. Perhaps, the students were just there for the free wine before heading back to work on papers, but the diversity of the event was marked. Together they circulated the room, discussing things like how Edvard Munch’s portrait kind of creeped them out.

And all of this speaks to the community ethos of the museum and the exhibit more generally. It was clear that all those involved  were concerned with sharing their knowledge with the community in order to dispel the “ivory tower” image of the university. In fact, the Director and Chief Curator of the MMA, Carol Podedworny highlighted the importance that Professors Brophy and Hladki are “presenting their research work in a public forum” in her opening address.

This tension of being academically and yet at the same time community oriented was captured perfectly in the pair of faculty members who offered their reflections on the exhibit. The first speaker was Professor Don Goellnicht, the Director of the Institute of Globalization and Human Rights, and he took a more classical academic approach to the exhibit’s content. He lauded the inclusion of various racialized, gendered, queer, and Indigenous artists in the exhibit and went on to explain the way that marginalized began to adopt a post-structuralist idea of the self where one’s identity is fixed in any one form. He explained the way that many communities began to see the value in a flexible idea of the self in representing difference, led largely by artists like Grace Ndiritu whose video art installation shows how she can display herself in many different ways.

This academic insight into the exhibit was paired with the reflections of Professor Sheila Sammon, Director of Community Engagement. Sammon also praised the exhibit for its inclusivity of both on-campus and off-campus communities stating the importance of sharing the knowledge of the university with people in the surrounding area. The project embodied the idea of knowledge translation in the way it had brought academics and artists and community members together to discuss common issues.

That is the beauty of an exhibit like this in my mind, that it unites people locally and offers an opportunity for knowledge to be shared across groups. I knew going into the exhibit that it represented a diverse range of perspectives but I was please to see that the community gathered to celebrate the opening of the exhibit also represented diverging ideas of gender, race, class and age. It struck me that in a beautiful moment of symmetry, the various “Me”s hanging on the walls in the museum were like a reflection of the diverse collection of “Me”s that filled the interior of the room for the opening.

Leonard Baskin’s Prints to Honour Sculptors

Installation view of Leonard Baskin monotypes in The Art of the Book exhibition, McMaster Museum of Art

Installation view of Leonard Baskin monotypes in The Art of the Book exhibition, McMaster Museum of Art

Leonard Baskin created several series of prints honouring artists he admired.

Currently on display at the McMaster Museum of Art are five pieces from his book Twelve Sculptors: a book of monotypes with short notes on the monotypes and the sculptors (1988).

Of his numerous honorary portraits, Baskin wrote:

I can but speculate as to why I have been put to the ardent making of homages to artists of the past, and in inordinate numbers. It is not, I feel certain, an act of simple or complex, straightforward or devious, obeisance, from a poor contemporary thing to the titans of the past: I suffer in myself no false humility. Rather, this near-blizzard of portraits-in-homage is the anxiety-obsessed wail emitted by an artist who feels isolated and under siege. It is the stretched, the harassed call of comrades-in-arms, for re-enforcing help and fighting strength, for justification, for reassurance, a battering on the door of history to send witnesses to plead his cause, to usurp the enemies who have so wantonly seized power and control.   (Baskin, Iconologia, (1988): 1)

Here are the five portraits of sculptors now on view, alongside a photograph of a public sculpture by that particular artist:

Elie Nadelman, 1882-1946, American

Leonard Baskin, Elie Nadelman, 1988 Monotype Image: 12.6 x 10 cm   Gift of Rabbi Bernard Baskin 2007.004.0026

Leonard Baskin, Elie Nadelman, 1988, Monotype, 12.6 x 10 cm
Gift of Rabbi Bernard Baskin. ©The Estate of Leonard Baskin; Courtesy Galerie St. Etienne, New York.
Collection of McMaster Museum of Art, McMaster University 2007.004.0026

The Fuller Building in New York City with two figures by Elie Nadelman flanking a clock. Photo: Wally Gobetz

The Fuller Building in New York City with two figures by Elie Nadelman flanking a clock. Photo: Wally Gobetz

John Flanagan, 1865-1952, American

A sculptor who designed the Washington U.S. quarter dollar coin, which was issued in 1932.

Leonard Baskin, John Flanagan, 1988 Monotype, 12.8 x 10.2 cm, Gift of Rabbi Bernard Baskin 2007.004.0029

Leonard Baskin, John Flanagan, 1988
Monotype, 12.8 x 10.2 cm,
Gift of Rabbi Bernard Baskin
©The Estate of Leonard Baskin; Courtesy Galerie St. Etienne, New York. 
Collection of McMaster Museum of Art, McMaster University 2007.004.0029

flanagan

John Flanagan, Rotunda Clock, marble, c. 1896, Library of Congress Thomas Jefferson Building, Washington D.C. Photo: Carol Highsmith

 Andrew O’Connor, 1874-1941, American-Irish

Leonard Baskin, Andrew O'Connor, 1988, Monotype, 12.6 x 10.2 cm  Gift of Rabbi Bernard Baskin 2007.004.0031

Leonard Baskin, Andrew O’Connor, 1988, Monotype, 12.6 x 10.2 cm
Gift of Rabbi Bernard Baskin
©The Estate of Leonard Baskin; Courtesy Galerie St. Etienne, New York.
Collection of McMaster Museum of Art, McMaster University 2007.004.0031

Springfield Illinois State Capitol Dome and Lincoln Statue by Andrew O'Connor. Photo: Randy von Liski

Springfield Illinois State Capitol Dome and Lincoln Statue by Andrew O’Connor. Photo: Randy von Liski

Bessie Potter Vonnoh, 1872-1955, American

She produced genre statuettes depicting domestic and feminine subjects that not only captured a refined segment of turn-of-the-century society, but also contributed to the vitalization of small bronze sculpture in America.

BASKIN, Leonard Bessie Potter Vonnoh, 1988, Monotype, 12.4 x 9.8 cm  Gift of Rabbi Bernard Baskin 2007.004.0033

Leonard Baskin, Bessie Potter Vonnoh, 1988, Monotype, 12.4 x 9.8 cm
Gift of Rabbi Bernard Baskin
©The Estate of Leonard Baskin; Courtesy Galerie St. Etienne, New York.
Collection of McMaster Museum of Art, McMaster University 2007.004.0033

Bessie Potter Vonnoh,  The Secret Garden, Burnett Fountain in Central Park's Conservatory Garden. photo: Joe Shlabotnik

New York City – Bessie Potter Vonnoh, The Secret Garden, Burnett Fountain in Central Park’s Conservatory Garden. Photo: Joe Shlabotnik

Frederick MacMonnies, 1863-1937 American

He was the best known expatriate American sculptor of the Beaux-Arts school, as successful and lauded in France as he was in the United States. He was also a highly accomplished painter and portraitist. (MacMonnies at the Metropolitan Museum of Art)

Leonard Baskin, Frederick MacMonnies, 1988, 12.6 x 10 cm Gift of Rabbi Bernard Baskin 2007.004.0035

Leonard Baskin, Frederick MacMonnies, 1988, 12.6 x 10 cm
Gift of Rabbi Bernard Baskin ©The Estate of Leonard Baskin; Courtesy Galerie St. Etienne, New York.
Collection of McMaster Museum of Art, McMaster University 2007.004.0035

Brooklyn - Prospect Heights: Grand Army Plaza - Soldiers' and Sailors' Memorial Arch with 3 sculptural groupings commission from Frederick MacMonnies in 1894. Photo: Wally Gobetz

Brooklyn – Prospect Heights: Grand Army Plaza – Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Memorial Arch with 3 sculptural groupings commission from Frederick MacMonnies in 1894. Photo: Wally Gobetz

Celebrating ‘This is Me, This is Also Me’

This is Me, This is Also Me. Reception: Nov 6/14 at McMaster Museum of Art

This is Me, This is Also Me. Reception: Nov 6/14 at McMaster Museum of Art

Thank you to everyone came out last Thursday evening to support and celebrate the opening of our new exhibition This is Me, This is Also Me. The event kicked off with opening remarks and insights from Don Goellnicht, Professor in English and Cultural Studies and Director of the Institute on Globalization and the Human Condition; Sheila Sammon, Professor in Social Work and Director of Community Engagement; the exhibition’s co-curators, McMaster Professors Sarah Brophy and Janice Hladki; and the Museum of Art Director Carol Podedworny.

Check out the album of pics below, come see the exhibition, and please  join us for upcoming related events including:

PANEL DISCUSSION - Representing the Self, Connecting to Others on November 27, 1:30 – 3:00 pm with panelists:
Eva Karpinski, School of Gender, Sexuality & Women’s Studies, York University
Shoshana Magnet, Institute of Feminist & Gender Studies, University of Ottawa
Carrie McMullin, Graduate of the Indigenous Studies Program and the Graduate Program in Cultural Studies & Critical Theory, McMaster University
Thy Phu, Department of English, Western University

A STUDENT MEDIA WORKSHOP: Our Selfies, Ourselves? :  February 5, 2015 from 4:30 – 6:30 pm

ARTIST PANEL DISCUSSION with Rebecca BelmoreDeanna BowenCathy Daley:  March 12, 2015 from 6 – 8 pm

 

The Soldier’s Dream

J.M.W. Turner, 'Soldier's Dream', 1837. engraving. Gift of Dr. M. Brain. Collection of McMaster Museum of Art, McMaster University

J.M.W. Turner, ‘Soldier’s Dream’, 1837. engraving. Gift of Dr. M. Brain. Collection of McMaster Museum of Art, McMaster University

In Joseph Mallord William Turner’s engraving Soldier’s Dream, the soldier is shown leaning on his musket among his slumbering comrades, beneath a crescent moon. As he sleeps, his mind travels far from the battlefield with cannons and burning fires, shown to his left and right. He dreams of his peaceful homeland, his wife and children, and his homecoming, all shown below.

This is one of twenty engravings produced by Turner as illustrations for ‘The Poetical Works of Thomas Campbell’, a book published in 1837.  McMaster Museum of Art has the complete set of twenty and, by happy coincidence, McMaster University also has a copy of the 1837 book in the Research Collections of Mills Memorial Library.

The poem that inspired Turner was also set to music by Beethoven [WoO 152, no 9] (25 Irish songs). A recording of that piece follows.

Here is the poem:

The Soldier’s Dream
by Thomas Campbell

Our bugles sung truce – for the night-cloud had lowered.
And the sentinel stars set their watch in the sky;
And thousands had sunk on the ground, overpowered,
The weary to sleep, and the wounded to die.

When reposing that night on my pallet of straw,
By the wolf-scaring faggot that guarded the slain,
At the dead of the night a sweet vision I saw;
And thrice ere the cock-crow I dreamt it again.

Methought from the battlefield’s dreadful array,
Far, far I had roam’d on a desolate track;
‘Twas autumn – and sunshine arose on the way
To the home of my fathers, that welcomed me back.

I flew to the pleasant fields, traversed so oft
In life’s morning march, when my bosom was young;
I heard my own mountain-goats bleating aloft,
And knew the sweet strain the cornreapers sung.

Then pledged we the wine-cup, and fondly I swore.
From my home and my weeping friends never to part;
My little ones kiss’d me a thousand times o’er,
And my wife sobbed aloud in her fullness of heart.

“Stay – stay with us! – rest! – thou art weary and worn;”
(And fain was their war-broken soldier to stay;)
But sorrow returned with the dawning of morn,
And the voice in my dreaming ear melted away.

________________

Embodied Politics in Visual Autobiography: BOOK LAUNCH

EMBODIED POLITICS IN VISUAL AUTOBIOGRAPHY. Edited by Sarah Brophy and Janice Hladki University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division © 2014. 320 Pages 17 Images

EMBODIED POLITICS IN VISUAL AUTOBIOGRAPHY.
Edited by Sarah Brophy and Janice Hladki
University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division © 2014. 320 Pages 17 Images

This evening’s celebration at the  McMaster Museum of Art 6-8 pm launches both a new exhibition and a book by the exhibition’s co-curators:
EMBODIED POLITICS IN VISUAL AUTOBIOGRAPHY

Sarah Brophy is an associate professor in the Department of English and Cultural Studies at McMaster University.
Janice Hladki is an associate professor of Theatre and Film Studies in the School of the Arts at McMaster University.

From reality television to film, performance, and video art, autobiography is everywhere in today’s image-obsessed age. With contributions by both artists and scholars, Embodied Politics in Visual Autobiography is a unique examination of visual autobiography’s involvement in the global cultural politics of health, disability, and the body. This provocative collection looks at images of selfhood and embodiment in a variety of media and with a particular focus on bodily identities and practices that challenge the norm: a pregnant man in cyberspace, a fat activist performance troupe, indigenous artists intervening in museums, transnational selves who connect disability to war, and many more.

The chapters in Embodied Politics in Visual Autobiography reflect several different theoretical approaches but share a common concern with the ways in which visual culture can generate resistance, critique, and creative interventions. With contributions that investigate digital media, installation art, graphic memoir, performance, film, reality television, photography, and video art, the collection offers a wide-ranging critical account of what is clearly becoming one of the most important issues in contemporary culture.

CONTENTS

Introduction. Visual Autobiography in the Frame: Critical Embodiment and Cultural Pedagogy (Sarah Brophy and Janice Hladki)

I: Proliferating Monstrosity
2. Quickening Paternity: Cyberspace, Surveillance, and the Performance of Male Pregnancy (Sayantani DasGupta)
3. “Virtual” Autobiography? Anorexia, Obsession, and Calvin Klein (Mebbie Bell)
4. Big Judy: Fatness, Shame, and the Hybrid Autobiography (Allyson Mitchell)

II: Rupture and Recognition: Body Re-Formations
5. Sex Traitors: Autoethnography by Straight Men (Richard Fung)
6. Looks Can Be Deceiving: Exploring Transsexual Body Alchemy through a Neoliberal Lens (Dan Irving)
7. Visceral (Auto)biographies: Plastic Surgery and Gender in Reality TV (Simon Strick)

III: Interior Lives: Conditions of Persistence and Survival
8. My Life as a Museum, or, Performing Indigenous Epistemologies (Peter Morin)
9. Gut Reactions: Mona Hatoum’s Corps étranger (Kim Sawchuk)
10. “Please Don’t Let Me Be Like This!”: Un-wounding Photographic Representations by Persons with Intellectual Disability (Ann Fudge Schormans and Adrienne Chambon)
11. “Why should our bodies end at the skin?” Cancer Pathography, Comics, and Embodiment (Laura McGavin)

IV: Spectatorship and Historical Memory: The Ethics of Critical Embodiment
12. Witnessing Genocide and the Challenges of Ethical Spectatorship (Wendy Kozol)
13. Digital Melancholia: Archived Bodies in Carmin Karasic’sWith Liberty and Justice for All(Sheila Petty)
14. Connective Tissue: Summoning the Spectator to Visual Autobiography (Sarah Brophy and Janice Hladki)

This is Me, This is Also Me – Installation Week Pics

Installation is well underway, with the This is Me, This is Also Me exhibition opening tomorrow. We hope everyone can join us to celebrate the exhibition, launch the curators new publication,  at the public Reception Thursday November 6 from 6-8 pm. Here are some pics from installation underway today.

 


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