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Art Panel Discussion and Symposium to be Held at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago
Tania Bruguera.

CHICAGO, IL.- The Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA), Chicago, presents two programs that explore important ideas about the role of diversity, perception, and the intersection of different practices within contemporary art. Both programs feature a range of participants that come from varying academic, cultural, and professional backgrounds including artists, philosophers, and scholars. The Diversity and Contemporary Art Panel takes place on September 9, 2009, and the Symposium: Art / Science / Spectacle takes place on September 12, 2009.

Diversity and Contemporary Art: Tania Bruguera, Melissa Harris-Lacewell, Glenn Ligon
Wednesday, September 9, 2009, 6 pm
MCA Theater, Lecture only: $10 general admission, $6 students; With post-lecture reception: $35

What does diversity mean today, and what are the implications for museums, artists, and their audiences? This panel discussion examines what hard work still lies ahead as people grapple with culture and identity through works of art, and how to engage artists and audiences on equal terms. MCA Pritzker Director Madeleine Grynsztejn leads the discussion with political scientist Melissa Harris Lacewell, artist Glenn Ligon, and interdisciplinary artist Tania Bruguera.

Symposium: Art / Science / Spectacle
Saturday, September 12, 2009, 2 pm
MCA Theater, $10 general admission, $6 students

Art / Science / Spectacle analyzes how immersive artworks, such as those in the Take your time: Olafur Eliasson exhibition, play upon the attraction to the spectacular and fascination in the mechanics of how things work. The program features presentations by three internationally renowned speakers who trace the history of the phenomenon in art and science, and relate it to wide-ranging developments in consumer culture, optics, psychology, philosophy, and technology. Madeleine Grynsztejn, MCA Pritzker Director and curator of Take your time: Olafur Eliasson, introduces the program.

Speakers:
Tania Bruguera
is an interdisciplinary artist interested in inserting art into everyday political life. Bruguera currently lives and works in Chicago and Havana, Cuba, and serves on the faculty at the University IUAV in Venice, Italy, and the University of Chicago. In 2002, she founded Cátedra Arte de Conducta, an alternative art school project in Havana. She participated in Documenta 11 and has exhibited widely around the world including in Venice, Sao Paolo, Istanbul, Moscow, Tirana, Goteborg, Johannesburg, Kwangju, Shangai, Havana, and Site Santa Fe. In 1998 she was selected as a Guggenheim fellow, and in 2000 and 2007 she received a Prince Claus Grant.

Melissa Harris-Lacewell's academic research is inspired by a desire to investigate the challenges facing contemporary Black Americans and to better understand the multiple, creative ways that African Americans respond to these challenges. She is Associate Professor of Politics and African-American Studies at Princeton University. Professor Harris-Lacewell is the author of the award-winning book Barbershops, Bibles, and BET: Everyday Talk and Black Political Thought. She provides expert commentary on U.S. elections, race and gender issues, and religious questions, and is a regular contributor on The Rachel Maddow Show, NPR, theroot.com, politico.com, The Nation and its shared blog The Notion. She is currently at work on a new book: Sister Citizen: A Text For Colored Girls Who've Considered Politics When Being Strong Wasn't Enough.

Glenn Ligon's resonant paintings and works in other media embody complex questions of identity, representation, and language. Ligon is best known for text-based paintings that appropriate material from Black-themed coloring books, the jokes of Richard Pryor, and the writings of James Baldwin, Gertrude Stein, Zora Neale Hurston, and others. He treats these texts and images as material, allowing them to function both physically and conceptually and to destabilize our assumptions of race, sexuality and of our place in the world. Upcoming projects include a solo exhibition at Regen Projects in December 2009 and the presentation of a film project based on Thomas Edison's version of Uncle Tom's Cabin at the Alberta College of Art and Design. Glenn Ligon's work is in the collections of museums worldwide. He lives and works in New York.

Anthony McCall is known for his ‘solid-light' installations, a series that he began in 1973 with his seminal "Line Describing a Cone," in which a volumetric form composed of projected light slowly evolves in threedimensional space. Existing in a zone between sculpture, cinema, and drawing, his work has been included in such exhibitions as Into the Light: the Projected Image in American Art 1964-77 at the Whitney Museum of American Art; The Expanded Screen: Actions and Installations of the Sixties and Seventies at Museum Moderner Kunst, Vienna; Beyond Cinema: the Art of Projection at Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin; The Cinema Effect: Illusion, Reality and the Projected Image at the Hirshhorn Museum, Washington DC; and The Geometry of Motion 1920s/1970s at the Museum of Modern Art. Solo exhibitions of his work have taken place at Centre Pompidou/La Maison Rouge, Paris; Tate Britain and Serpentine Gallery, London; Institut d'Art Contemporain and Musée de Rochechouart, France; and Hangar Bicocca, Milan.

Paola Bertucci received her PhD in History of Science from the University of Oxford. She is the author of a book on the Italian journey of the French experimental philosopher Jean Antoine Nollet and co-editor of a volume on the history of the medical applications of electricity, Electric Bodies. Episodes in the History of Medical Electricity. She has designed two new exhibitions for the permanent 18th-century collections of the Museum of the History of Science in Florence: The Spectacle of Science and Domestic Science. Her current research focuses on natural catastrophes in the Age of Enlightenment and on the material culture of science in 18th-century Italy.

Barbara Stafford is the William B. Ogden Distinguished Service Professor, Emerita, at the University of Chicago. Her work has consistently explored the intersections between the visual arts and the physical and biological sciences from the early modern to the contemporary era. Her current research charts the revolutionary ways the neurosciences are changing our views of the human and animal sensorium, shaping our fundamental assumptions about perception, sensation, emotion, mental imagery, and subjectivity. Stafford's most recent book is Echo Objects: The Cognitive Work of Images.

Museum of Contemporary Art | Chicago | Tania Bruguera | Melissa Harris-Lacewell | Glenn Ligon |




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