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About the Exhibition
To articulate, or translate, between languages and cultures is to navigate between continually changing fields, or bodies. Between Bodies is a group exhibition that assembles artworks whose meanings can be drawn out through the idea of translation. The title Between Bodies emphasizes a recognition of two modes at work within the dynamic of translation: communication and embodiment. The selected works propose translation as an alternative process for negotiating economic, social, and culturally dominant narratives. Within this exhibition context, we understand translation as mediation between the artists represented, between artist and viewer, and between publics, through the very act of representing bodies, physical as well as ideological. The possibility of communication to illuminate meaning is counterbalanced by the frustration of knowing that there is no neutral language or transparent view. Nothing less than misinterpretation or misrepresentation is at stake. Translation can be a creative process but it is also inherently risky.
Between Bodies brings together historical works from the 1970s and 1980s with more recent works; all of these negotiate encounters of difference and exchange. The participating artists, Eleanor Antin, Artur Barrio, Juan Downey, Ghana Think Tank, Melanie Gilligan, Simon Leung, Andrea Longacre-white, Evan Meaney, Adrian Piper, and Gala Porras-Kim, have all worked in the decades following political events of catastrophe and dissent, including the start of a two-decade long military dictatorship in Brazil, the worldwide student uprisings of 1968, the U.S.-sponsored Chilean coup d’etat of 1973, and, more recently, September 11, 2001, and its political aftermath in the United States, These historical ruptures coincide with technological transformations, including the introduction of the Portapak, the first battery-powered video recording device, in 1967; the development of the World Wide Web in the early 1990s; the accessibility of MiniDV home editing software, and the proliferation of “smart” mobile technology and touch-screen tablets starting in the 2000s. Utilizing various representational modes, with an emphasis on time-based media and technologies of reproduction these artists take on subjects that surround us but whose narratives often remain invisible. The exhibition poses crucial questions: How are suppressed or repressed political, social, economic, and cultural conditions expressed aesthetically? How is an absence rendered?
Workshop on April 20th
Ghana ThinkTank at the Mexican Border is a new project meant to spark collaboration between immigrants and anti-immigrant activists on the US/Mexico border.
Using focus groups, on-the-street interviews, and anonymous postcards, Ghana ThinkTank collects problems from people living on both sides of an issue. Problems are exchanged with members of an opposing group, and each “think tank” offers solutions to the other. Ghana ThinkTank then returns to each community to mobilize its members to implement those solutions. This project is produced with support from a Creative Capital grant.
This project will be launched with a public workshop at University of Southern California's Roski School of Fine Arts on Saturday April 20, 2013 from 12-5pm. Space is limited and registration is required. For more information please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Program
Between Bodies is a group exhibition and curatorial practicum organized by Jacqueline Bell, Katherine Bray, Rebecca Matalon, Kiley McCarthy, Irina Panasyuk, and Santiago Vernetti with Visiting Professor Connie Butler. The MA in Art and Curatorial Practices in the Public Sphere program emphasizes the practice and history of art, curating and critical theory. In addition to realizing an individual work of advanced research in a thesis, Master's candidates produce a curatorial practicum and related programs as a means of raising social questions about art and art's publics. For questions about the exhibition or inquiries about the catalog, please contact us at email@example.com or visit roski.usc.edu/ma.