The Weatherspoon Art Museum
at UNC Greensboro is hosting the exhibition Shared Space: The New Era (1987-2010) | Photographs from the Bank of America Collection which opened earlier this month on Saturday, May 13, 2023. The exhibition will remain on view through August 5, 2023.
Shared Space explores an evolving social landscape captured in photographs and video created over the span of nearly 25 years. Twenty-three artists from twelve countries explore how the physical spaces in which we interact from city streets to rural landscapes have evolved alongside our access to a virtual global village.
Artists from the United States, Canada, the Czech Republic, Germany, Great Britain, India, Iran, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, and Switzerland offer a view into the complexities of this era through photography and video visual modes of communication made ubiquitous by new technologies. Shared Space explores the ways in which our homes and backyards, city streets and plazas, ports and airplanes, and urban and rural landscapes have evolved through globalization of our communications and collective space.
Greg Cox, Bank of America's Triad President, Senior Vice President in Global Commercial Banking, said "At Bank of America, we believe in the power of the arts to help economies thrive, educate and enrich societies, and create greater cultural understanding. We are pleased these works loaned through the Bank of America Art in our Communities® program will provide inspiration for the Weatherspoon Art Museum's visitors and the many UNCG students who enjoy the Weatherspoon as well."
Juliette Bianco, the Anne and Ben Cone Memorial Endowed Director of the Weatherspoon Art Museum, said, "As a hub for innovative teaching and learning, the Weatherspoon is an inclusive and dynamic catalyst for people's engagement with art and one another. Partnering with Bank of America to present this diverse collection of contemporary photography, we collectively create an opportunity for visitors to experience these artists' perspectives while considering their own."
The exhibition acts as a time capsule, its point of departure 1987, the year U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev signed the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), a historical nuclear arms agreement. This event, along with the fall of the Berlin Wall and the dissolution of the Soviet Union, marked the end of the Cold War and a new era of globalization. Included in the exhibition is an actual fragment from the Berlin Wall, marking the moment in 1989 when East and West Berliners were able to communicate and traverse freely across the former boundary. Parallel to these events was a technological revolution with the rise of the World Wide Web, which created a vast digital world without borders.
"This exhibition will truly resonate with anyone who experienced the emergence of the World Wide Web and personal access to such technologies as smart phones and iPads. These photographs were created at the cusp of this new reality and indicate what artists were drawn to both technically and thematically at this historical moment, says Elaine D. Gustafson, Curator and Head of Collections and Facilities at the museum. She organized the exhibition's presentation at the Weatherspoon.
She adds that the exhibition presents a rare chance to see work by such renowned photographers in one fascinating exhibition. "It focuses on an international cast of artists who were major practitioners of the medium, so it's a unique opportunity to view work by these artists in one place at one time," she notes. "The majority of the images are large scale and were produced with large-format cameras. As a result there is a level of detail that is spellbinding. I think visitors will be amazed by what the photographs capture and convey."
Artists represented in the exhibition include Hans Aarsman, Olivo Barbieri, Wout Berger, Edward Burtynsky, Gregory Crewdson, Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Ken Fandell, Günther Förg, Ben Gest, Andreas Gursky, Jitka Hanzlová, Barbara Klemm, Sze Tsung Nicolás Leong, Bertien van Manen, Shirin Neshat, Walter Niedermayr, Gabriel Orozco, Thomas Ruff, Tokihiro Satō, Raghubir Singh, Beat Streuli, Thomas Struth, and Massimo Vitali.