Memory & History
 
"Archival artists seek to make historical information, often lost or displaced, physically present. To this end they elaborate on the found image, object, and text, and favor the installation format as they do so. (Frequently they use its nonhierarchical spatiality to advantage-which is rather rare in contemporary art.)" "These sources are familiar, drawn from the archives of mass culture, to ensure a legibility that can then be disturbed or detourne;but they can also be obscure, retrieved in a gesture of alternative knowledge or counter- memory." - Hall Foster in An Archival Impulse
 
Reminder! Exam 2 due tonight at 11:59 PM!!
 
Rough Draft Share due on Monday, April 17
Visual Analysis/Museum Paper due on Monday, April 24
Ashley Bickerton, Self Portrait, 1988.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Richard Prince, Girlfriends, 1993.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

various zines

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Archival art is as much preproduction as it is postproduction: concerned less with absolute origins than with obscure traces (perhaps 'anarchival impulse' is the more appropriate phrase), these artists are often drawn to unfulfilled beginnings or incomplete projects - in art and in history alike - that might offer points of departure again." - Hal Foster in An Archival Impulse
   
Carrie Mae Weems, BLACK WOMAN WITH CHICKEN and LOOKING INTO THE MIRROR...from the Ain't Jokin' series, 1987 - 1988.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carrie Mae Weems, From Here I Saw What Happened and I Cried, 1995 - 1996.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carrie Mae Weems, From Here I Saw What Happened and I Cried, 1995 - 1996.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carrie Mae Weems, From Here I Saw What Happened and I Cried, 1995 - 1996.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carrie Mae Weems, From Here I Saw What Happened and I Cried, 1995 - 1996.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carrie Mae Weems, From Here I Saw What Happened and I Cried, 1995 - 1996.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carrie Mae Weems, From Here I Saw What Happened and I Cried, 1995 - 1996.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carrie Mae Weems, From Here I Saw What Happened and I Cried, 1995 - 1996.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carrie Mae Weems, From Here I Saw What Happened and I Cried, 1995 - 1996.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carrie Mae Weems, From Here I Saw What Happened and I Cried, 1995 - 1996.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carrie Mae Weems, From Here I Saw What Happened and I Cried, 1995 - 1996.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"However, the girls pictured are not victims of genocide: the photographs, of anonymous children, were culled from magazines and newspapers. The boxes are not truly old, and the cloth contained in them is generic and has no special origin. Boltanski creates an atmosphere of general, unspecified mourning through means—photographs, relics—traditionally valued for their privileged claim to specificity, uniqueness, and authenticity. A vocabulary of documentary signs is used movingly, but deceptively, for symbolic effect."
Christian Boltanski, Storefront, 1988.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christian Boltanski, The Reserve of the Dead Swiss, 1990.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"More than mere postmodern instability and uncertainty, the work emphasizes this quality of coming apart in the way the pieces are mounted: flaps of fabric stick out, bulge into ostentatious three-dimensionality, and/or hang limply. The artist statement 'rather vague and un-illuminating' invites us to re-contextualize, to speculate, and to free-associate. Yet the tricky part lies in actually pinning down the purpose of the many references, allusions, and appropriations in Bryant?s work. In the end, what all the hems, sutures, and zippers share with the process of making meaning is the steady promise of a controlled and inevitable unraveling." - Christine Schmidt
Ernest Arthur Bryant III, Trick Baby, 2005.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Slavery! Slavery!

Kara Walker, Slavery! Slavery!, 1997.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gone An Historical Romance

Kara Walker, Detail from Gone, An Historical Romance of a Civil War
As It Occurred Between the Dusky Thighs of One Young Negress and Her Heart
, 1994.

 

Kara Walker in Art 21: Art in the 21st Century

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Liberation of Aunt Jemima

"All black people in America want to be slaves just a little bit." - Walker
Kara Walker's work is "sort of revolting and negative and a form of betrayal to the slaves, particularly women and children; that is that it was basically for the amusement and the investment of the white art establishment." - Betye Saar
"These are the slave narratives that were never written. Kara's work takes from fact but also fantasy and throws on its head any notion we might have of good and bad, right and wrong, black and white. There are no clear dichotomies." - Thelma Golden
"Walker refuses to see racism as a clear question of 'us versus them.' Instead, she performs a complex excavation of both the psychological and the sociological dimensions of identification." - David Joselit
Betye Saar, The Liberation of Aunt Jemima, 1972.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You Do

Josephine Baker

Kara Walker, You Do, 1997.
Josephine Baker performing the Danse Sauvage in 1927.
Beyonce, Single Ladies, 2008.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Needless to say, it is the two hundred year history of a shameful act conducted squarely within our consciousness that makes it possible for Walker to not only refuse shame but to blur the distinction between forms of shame. Even more important, Walker is aware that to speak of shame is simultaneously to speak of disgust, the overcoming of which is a prerequisite for sexual pleasure. Given the volume of shame, it is no wonder that the pleasures derived by her characters are often Sadistic in nature.” – Hamza Walker

installation at the Renaissance Society

Kara Walker, detail from an exhibition at the Renaissance Society, 1997.

 

 

Mark Steven Greenfield's website

 

Jason and Aaron White, The Dance, 2005.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kara Walker, A Subtlety or the Marvelous Sugar Baby an Homage to the unpaid and
overworked Artisans who have refined our Sweet tastes from the cane fields to the Kitchens
of the New World on the Occasion of the demolition of the Domino Sugar Refining Plant
, 2014.

 

Creative Time