Review: Amelia Jones – Amy Ferguson

    The art historian Amelia Jones spoke on April 17, 2012 on the “Queer Feminist Duration: The Trace of the Subject in Contemporary Art.” Continue reading

Visiting Artist #1

Emily Potter

April 30, 2012


Artist Lecture #1

 Janine Antoni

Janine Antoni is a contemporary artist who mainly focuses on the idea of process.  She uses her body, hair, eyelashes, and even mouth as tools to perform these everyday acts to create her work.  Many of her works express not only process, but materiality, the body, her art historical background, and cultural perceptions of women.  Her well known works Gnaw and Love and Care are perfect examples of using her body, or parts of it and the cultural perceptions of women.   Continue reading

Visiting Artist: Janine Antoni

Aly Nack

ARTH 3539-001

Visiting Artist Lecture: Janine Antoni


Janine Antoni was born in the Bahamas, and currently lives and works in New York, New York. She received her BA from Sarah Lawrence College in New York, and earned her MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design. Her work mainly focuses on the process, and uses select parts of her body — her mouth, hair, and eyelashes– as tools to perform everyday activities. Continue reading

Artist Paper

Griffin Beste

Artist Lecture

Contemporary Art History

Janine Antoni

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art historian leacure, Susan Walicki on Heidi Gearhard

Susan Walicki, visiting art historian lecture response

Heidi Gearhard
Is there Virtue in Virtuosity? Art and Skill in the Medieval Monastery

            Heidi Gearhard examines the value and virtuosity of art created in monasteries through studying texts from Theopolis. The Theopolis texts are medieval texts with instructions for artistic techniques done in the monastery including painting, stained glass, and metal smithing. These texts examine both the processes by which a monk can create art as well as the method a monk should use to create in terms creating art as a practice of worship. Continue reading

Janine Antoni – Visiting Artist Lecture


Logan Lecture Visiting Artist (Jenna Speare)

Jenna Speare

Logan Lecture Paper

ARTH 3539

Logan Lecture Series

Richard Tuttle

           Richard Tuttle a sculpture artist represented by Pace Gallery. He has always loved sculpture but claims to dislike the material world; it is his dream to create something spiritual, yet in the world of sculpture, he is forced to deal with art as materiality. The art world has not achieved abstraction in sculpture that is as interesting as “the figure”. It is also his belief that art is meant to be more accessible to other people for the use that art is meant to have.

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Visiting Scholar Review: Erika Doss

Mary Robbins

Visiting Scholar Review

Erika Doss
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Logan Lecture: Lawrence Argent

Shelby Simpson

Lawrence Argent is a English born artist, who studied sculpture at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Australia and has a MFA from the Rinehart School of Sculpture at the Maryland Institute, College of Art in Baltimore, Maryland.  Continue reading

Artist lecture review: Nao Bustamante (Jillian Fox)

Jillian Fox

ARTH 3539-001

Artist lecture review

Nao Bustamante

I attended Nao Bustamante’s lecture, “Melted, Plotting Out a Cross-Genre Narrative (or should I be making butter right now?).” Nao Bustamante considered herself an amateur and claimed her artistic career was prepared by accident. I immediately recognized Bustamante’s theatrical presence. The lecture began with Bustamante directing the audience into a state of hypnosis. The lights were dimmed, the room was silenced, and the only sound was the sound of her voice soothing the audience. She wanted us to relax and to bring ourselves out of ourselves, to let go of all that makes up our identity as you would let a balloon float away into the sky. She wanted us to take on her identity and to look at her works and understand how she feels. This hypnosis is actually from a work she did called “Find Yourself Through Me”. She likes to begin with hypnotizing people to be her so that we would have a “more relaxed rapport” with one another. The lights remained off and she continued to speak in a low, calming voice with subtle pauses between her words.

Her work as an artist explores performance art, sculpture, installation and video. In her lecture, she mainly focused on her performance works, or her more body-focused works, because she realized there was not a lot of performance art influence here.  The first work she showed us was a performance she did at a gallery in San Francisco. This was a museum that did not offer much performance, so they asked her to perform. Her performance consisted of her hiding her body under a shaggy rug and she held a microphone to respond to the environment around her. People walking by just assumed that she was somewhere else watching and responding into the microphone; they did not believe that she was actually under the rug. People would poke and kick the bump (her body) and she would respond by moaning or groaning. This work was clearly body-focused and she made herself the art, but was not actually seen as the art. She clearly thinks outside the box and would like those who observe her to do the same; I believe she wanted observers to get outside themselves to see something new or something they have not seen before as she morphs herself into so many different identities throughout her performances and other works.

Another work we looked at was called “Rosa does Joan.” This is from her performance on the Joan Rivers show in 1992. She met a woman who was a professional exhibitionist and the woman was asked to be on the Joan Rivers show, but was not able to do it. Bustamante did it for her instead. She posed herself as this alternate identity, “Rosa”, who was an exhibitionist. Her performance was strikingly convincing, as she was interviewed on the show with other true exhibitionists and no one doubted her identity as Rosa, including Joan Rivers. She decided on certain words that conveyed an “open-genderness” to open up her identity and how she was perceived on the show. Her video showed her being interviewed by Joan and then some behind the scenes footage of the other people who were also featured on the talk show. I think Bustamante is really intrigued by the body, the identity, and what makes a person who they are. Her work reflects how easily she can transform herself into a new identity and fully become them. The words she chose when speaking on the show only further opened up her identity, even though it was a fictional one. Her performances continually open up her body and identity for viewers to observe and understand, which was exactly the objective of her hypnotizing the audience. The comfortable rapport that emerged from this state of hypnosis made the lecture relaxing and humorous for us in the audience.

The third work that I found most interesting was a film of her taking on a Maria Montez-like character. Maria Montez was a queen of Technicolor of her era and the film is in a “Jack Smith” film style, a 70s avant-garde exotica, escapist kind of film. She said that the idea of the escapist film is that you are not the person you think you are. Maria Montez was a Dominican American actress who regained her accent to be placed in exotic films. I think Maria Montez taking changing her identity for more of her inherited identity was particularly inspiring to Bustamante. The film featured Bustamante in a white dress in a grassy field facing down. There is peaceful, classical music in the background and she is not speaking. She grabs plants and flowers as she travels through the forest without viewers being able to see her face. Finally, in the forest she sees this hanging doll in the trees with lots of jewelry and a highly adorned garment and she finally speaks in the film. What is interesting though, is that she is silent on the screen (just moving her lips), but in the room she is performing the words and noises for the audience. It was a little confusing at first. In the lecture hall she also put this sequined cape-like thing over her head as she spoke into the microphone. In the film, flying penises was chasing her. She eventually grows a penis in the film and at first was upset about it and then intrigued. In my opinion, the film was very strange and confusing, but it did have some humorous aspects. I think this piece definitely reflects back to her ongoing theme of an opened identity, gender, and person. The fact that she grew a male part and was afraid of it and then excited by it really emphasizes the constrictions of gender. I think Bustamante wanted to break beyond that gender-identity boundary and her work did just that.

I think all of her work was effective and even her lecture style reflected the emphasis on opening identity whether real or fictional. I believe that this was her overall intention because from the very beginning she wanted us to look at her art and listen to her speak as if we had let our own identity go just as she had with so many of her works. She ended the lecture with hypnotizing us back into ourselves and letting her identity go. Despite not being a huge fan of her work, I thought her entire lecture style and work were very powerful and definitely made an impression on me.

Richard Tuttle, DAM – Ashley Ludkowski

Ashley Ludkowski

Artist Lecture, DAM – Richard Tuttle

Leaving the Denver Art Museum after listening to Richard Tuttle speak, I was most confused to say the least. His latest exhibition, What’s the Wind at the Pace Gallery in NYC, consisted of six sculptures that at first glace seem to be a compilation of random assortments, but with a little explanation, the materials begin to make some form of sense. Yet, Tuttle is a man who gets carried away on long tangents with ambiguous words, often straying far from the original idea he was attempting to discuss. The way in which he vocalizes himself is a direct relationship to what his art looks like. Continue reading

Visiting Scholar Lecture Review: Stephen Campbell

Sonya Rivera

ARTH 3539

Visiting Scholar Lecture Review

I attended the Stephen Campbell lecture Andrea Mantegna: Force and the Frame on April 10. Campbell is a specialist in Italian art of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries with a focus on the artistic culture of North Italian court centers. Continue reading

Visiting Scholar Lecture Review: Erika Doss

Madison Rupp
ARTH 3539
Scholar Lecture Review

Erika Doss: Cultural Vandalism and Public Memory

Erika Doss’s recent lecture focused on how memorials function in the public sphere, especially when these memorials provoke debate and controversy.  Memorials and monuments can mean different things to different groups of people, which can cause indignation and anger, which in turn can lead to vandalism.  Rather than viewing vandalism as a random delinquent act, Doss views it as a form of discourse that can lead to a more complete understanding of the event that the memorial commemorates.

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Artist Lecture Review

Contemporary Art

Visiting Artist Lecture

Janine Antoni

Janine Antoni was born in Freeport, Bahamas, in 1964. She received her BA from Sarah Lawrence College in New York and earned her MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1989. Antoni’s work blurs the distinction between performance, art and sculpture, transforming everyday activities such as eating, bathing, and sleeping into ways of making art. Antoni’s primary tool for making sculpture has always been her own body. During her artistic career she has exhibited work nationally and internationally. Antoni is one of Contemporary Art’s leading ladies. She gave an amazing talk on Tuesday night, March 6th as a part of CU’s Visiting Artist Lecture Series, and I couldn’t have been more impressed with her. She is truly a smart artist. Instead of writing a long summary of the lecture, I chose three specific works to talk about in detail. Continue reading

Visiting Artist Lecture

Katerina Kapodistrias

Visiting Artist Lectures

Date: 4/17/2012

Artist: Wapke Feenstra



On April 2nd I got the chance to go to Wapke Feenstras’ lecture and also had the pleasure to meet her and have a quick talk to her, since she visited us in our Sculpture 4 class the next day. Wapke Feenstra is a Dutch artist that was born in 1959 and lives and works in Rotterdam since 1992. She grew up near the village of Wjelsryp in the Netherlands on a castle farm. She is an artist and a writer that develops her sources, by working into local and rural knowledge’s and environments and creates a direct interaction with the inhabitants. What she does is a form of conceptual art, where she focuses on nature and landscapes that in a way it reminds you of Land art while she combines at the same time ‘interactive performances’. Some of the questions that she asks are aspects about human life and perception in which is rooted in the memories of the residents that live in those lands. Another way for her to examine and observe the landscape in order to analyze the ground and the soil is the use of a drill that she uses in order for her to get charts of the soil with a result of her getting a personal feeling and taste of the specific land that she is examining. Wapke Feenstra forms “sites of memory by penetrating into the earth’.

It is quite fascinating how we can be so strongly attached to a specific place or landscape where we can feel that is our own and we feel comfort and secure in it, and even if many years go by and we revisit that personal place all those memories and good feelings come back. Listening to some of those stories is what Wapke Feenstra is also interested in.

One of Wapke Feenstras’ big projects was called ‘The Best Place’ in 2007 East of the Netherlands where she explored places as a type of performance, which locals had voted as The Best Place. In this project she visited fourteen places with a ‘text cart’ in which she took soil samples, pictures and had the chance to speak with the local and listen to their stories. “This vehicle inspired people to reflect on the best place. It creates an idea about the environment: about the past, the present, about the ground, about the heritage for everyone. It is this act to incite people to think about the best place – that is conceptually put into life.” (Pietsie Feenstra)

Another of her projects that I thought was interesting was the bathers in Munich in 2005 where Wapke painted fourteen Munich bathers on tiles of grey concrete in a grey color. The idea of this was when she would splash water on the dry concrete tile the grey paint would appear in a lighter tone, where the wet grey concrete tile was darker. When the concrete tile would dry it would all be the same grey color as if nothing was painted. These series of works allowed the history and the reality around us to interact with our surrounding activities, but it also was added as a new story to the Isar and the collections of images of the tale of the bathers.

She has also done many other projects where she stays in landscapes in which she examines on a daily base, reads poems and researches the place she is in, that inspire her and Wapke at the end writes texts about her stay.

I admire her motivation and willingness to travel to all these new landscapes and environments, her experiences in meeting with all these new inhabitants and listening to their stories, but most importantly the personal and exciting practices and explorations she gets to live and feel but also gather inspiration from. Wapke Feenstra lives in this continue journey, in which if she chose to it could be never ending, since there are so many unique and countless different places, people and landscapes in this world, in which she could discover and investigate and continue to expand and enrich the knowledge and the experiences she already has.

Hugh Hartigan Janine Antoni Lecture Review

Going to see Janine Antoni I knew I was going to see somewhat of a celebrity.  In every contemporary art class I have taken she has always been talked about.  Whether it is “Gnaw” or “Mortar and Pestle” one is more familiar with, she is an artist worth knowing in the contemporary art scene.  Her presence is very calming and very humbling.  She is a fans’ favorite kind of celebrity: one who does not think they are that famous.  She was introduced as ‘inspirational’ and a ‘genius’ something which almost seemed to take her back (sitting front and center I could audibly hear her say “I can’t believe you called me a genius!”).   (Continued in attached document)

Janine Antoni Lecture Review

Visiting Artist Lecture #1 Madison Dye

Artist: Roaslie Favell

Madison Dye

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Visiting Art Historian Lecture, Wu Hung, by: Athena Brownson

Athena Brownson

Visiting Art Historian Lecture, Wu Hung

“ The 3 Gorges Dam and Contemporary Chinese Art”

Through my studies as an Art Historian at the University of Colorado, Wu Hung has always been an art historian that I have encountered throughout my readings of Chinese art. Wu Hung is an extremely well known Art Historian, critic and Curator and is currently a professor at the University of Chicago, and an active curator.  I first encountered Wu Hung’s writings last semester while studying the Art of China, so I was very excited to go hear a lecture by an Art historian that I was already well versed in. This particular lecture by Wu Hung was regarding a show that he is currently curating and organizing that will take place in Beijing. This show will deal with the very controversial topic of the 3 Gorges Dam project that has been underway for the last decade in China.

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Visiting Artist Lecture- Nao Bustamante


Nao Bustamante is a great performance artist. I did not expect such a great performance from her, especially when she started off her presentation by saying “I wasn’t supposed to be an artist” and remarking on how it had to have been a mistake. She then went on to hypnotize us, who she felt made the audience or viewers closer to her as the artist, and be able to visualize her artwork the way she does. She dimmed the lights, had us close our eyes, while she talked to us calmly. She then explained she wants us to visualize her art the way she does, through her eyes.  After the hypnotism, she went straight into some of her early performances, and described how she started her art career. Continue reading

Nao Bustamante Visiting Artist

Megan Watry

ARTH 3539


Nao Bustamante Visiting Artist

            Nao Bustamante is entranced with the subject of bodies in performance; more specifically performance about the body. Nao doesn’t necessarily see herself as an artist but more as a story teller who uses her voice and her actions to tell stories. Stories can be used to explain, defend, recreate an event, and to create empathy. Stories connect people. Nao tells stories about human bodies through performance. Continue reading

Visiting Scholar Lecture- Joan Kee on Ming Wong. Samuel Lane

Joan Kee Lecture

February 14, 2012

“Ming Wong’s Cultural Studies”

            Joan Kee, a University of Michigan art historian who is a specialist on postwar and contemporary Asian painting discussed Singaporean artist, Ming Wong’s work, emphasizing the importance of globalism and multiculturalism. Continue reading

Visiting Artist Lecture – Aki Sasamoto. Dasha Silva

Dasha Silva

ARTH 3539

Visiting Artist Lecture Denver – Aki Sasamoto

From 2/21/12

Aki Sasamoto is a very interesting woman with the ability to give an equally interesting artist lecture. Continue reading

Camille Breslin on Aki Sasamoto

Camille Breslin

Aki Sasamoto

            Aki Sasamoto’s lecture was interesting, interactive, and high in energy like a performance. Aki Sasamoto is a performance artist, sculptor, and videographer. Even though I exchanged words with ms. Sasamoto after her lecture, I still had the feeling that her artist lecture was more of a live performance. Her high energy, audience interaction, and general poise and presentation of her work were excellent. I did get lost at some parts of her presentation but regardless, I still thoroughly enjoyed what Ms. Sasamoto had to present and show.

Ms. Sasamoto drew out this absurd diagram explaining The Judge Mental and The Purpose of Life. She went on to explain the relationships between the different categories of society, the norms, the Tinkerbells or “Tinks”, and the odds. The norms are the 99.9% of the society. Ms. Sasamoto goes into talking bout the relationship between them and how the norms want to be like the tinks, but the tinks dislike the norms. And the Odds and the tinks do not like each other at all. The norms bully the odds and they are kind of hidden and ostracized by society in general. Aki Sasamoto goes into talking about the “A train” and how if you don’t get off at any of the particular stops and join the norms or the “happiness” stops, you will be doomed for the rest of eternity.

One piece that really stuck out of all the pieces was the performance piece called Skewed Lies. This piece in particular had to do with Ms. Sasamoto’s hate for mosquitoes. She went into elaborate detail about why she hated them, ways that she killed them for masochistic pleasure, and so on and so forth. Ms. Sasamoto compares to mosquitoes to masseuses and other characterized people in society, i.e. Granola eaters. She also goes into detail about how her piece is also about comedians and mosquitoes are very similar is certain attributes. In her photos and performance pictures that Ms. Sasamoto showed in her lectures had to do with Ms. Sasamoto being attracted to this giant illumined fixture that was supposed to represent and insect killer and how she wanted to get to the light. She became the mosquito to see if she could pass the “entrance exam”. She sucked water out of the extremely long straw and stuck it into the light fixture to create the zapping noise. But randomly in between her story about her the mosquito coincidences, petty crimes versus noble crimes. She talks about her brother and their distant relationship. Randomly in between her story, she adds excerpts about how he’s getting married and how he want to her come to Japan from New York and to be on her best behavior as well.

It was hard to follow this story, but it was the most interesting. I really couldn’t follow her lecture because of the sporadicness of her pieces. It’s not that they were disorganized but it’s the way that Aki Sasamoto works. Her pieces are all over the place but at the end somehow they come together to make sense. Even though she was lecturing on her live performance, the lecture became her performance and presentation. There wasn’t any structure or guidelines narrating what was happening, but she started to perform in front of the audience. It was interesting to see how she held herself and her dialect when telling the stories. Aki Sasamoto was a very interesting lecture to see but it was confusing and a little scattered at parts. Regardless, the audience was engaged and she presented her work in such a way where everyone became involved. It was excellent.


Visiting Artist Paper 1: Aki Sasamoto

Niki Hale

ARTH 3539

Visiting Artist Lecture: Aki Sasamoto

            Aki Sasamoto is a young installation and performance artist. She was born in Japan, went to boarding school in England, and currently lives and works in New York City. Her visiting artist lecture at the University of Colorado began very unexpectedly; she typed, rather than spoke, her introduction. I immediately wondered if the entire lecture would follow suit, but she turned out to have a very lively attitude and a well-projected voice. Aki showed a list, A through Z, of potential subjects to cover for her lecture, and I was very pleased that we were given the opportunity to hear her speak about the topics that most interested us. The presentation was more of a dynamic interaction between her and the audience rather than a pre-determined lecture.

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Suki Nesvig: Aki Sasamoto Visiting Artist

This is a performer to say the least. Who can find the Tink!?



Visiting Artist Paper: Arlene Sechet- February 7= by Ryan Baker


Ryan Baker

Visiting Artist Paper: Arlene Sechet– February 7

Arlene Sechet is an artist who works with a variety of materials including ceramics, paint plaster, and a variety of strange and different materials.  During the lecture I felt that she was very open and wasn’t afraid to show us her vulnerable spots, which helped me really understand her work and why she created a piece. I was flabbergasted at her ability to take these deep and emotional feelings and experiences, and turn them into these beautiful works of art that perfectly epitomized her feelings.  By listening to her speak about her work, it was easy to grasp her personality and state of mind.

The first project of hers that she shared was one she began in 1992 when she found herself making statues that resemble the Buddha.  She was playing with plaster and found her finished piece to resemble a Buddha.   She aw these icons as reminders to behave the way she wants to behave.  She started studying Buddhism and realized that this is how she should lead her life in this calm and collected state.  She was working with the idea of life and death, and how they are so related and so delicate.  She made the Buddha shapes the painting on paint skins and embedding them in plaster, and would continue using the same mold, letting plaster on her fingers make marks on the paint skins allowing anything to happen.  What helped inspire these pieces was her ideas of life and death because during this time was the birth of her children and the premature death of a few of her very close friends.  She was putting these feelings into her inspiration from the Buddhism practices, and after the Buddha’s, which I thought were my favorite of her works, she moved to creating her own manifestations of Stupas.  Each work that she did was very personalized, and she took a risky move of recreating a religious figure, but all her own personal and intimate feeling and ideas into them that they turned out so influential and beautiful.

Stupas are architectural manifestations of Buddhist temples, where it is believed that one can achieve enlightenment by walking around it.  She started creating blueprints of stupas made from mandala plans.   She studied images of stupas and visited them to really grasp their spiritual meaning and the beauty of the object.  She made blueprints of them using a paint color called “flow blue”, which is very iconic in Chinese cultures.  She would paint them on hand made paper pulp that she would spread to make a canvas to paint on.  She received a grant from a paper mill that provided her with pulp and she used it with the paint so that it would blend together.  She started evolving using this method, flooding the pieces so that the images began to dissolve into a liquid state that signified that all things are changing all the time.  This reminded her of blue and white Japanese porcelain, which took her into her next project. In this, she created paper plans around a plaster mold creating these vessels, which still represented stupas containers similar to vases, which in her own theory were domestic versions of sacred architecture.  These were beautiful vessels which she created hundreds of them, reusing the mold and paint skins, which gave each of them a different and unique tone and look.

Of all of the works that she showed us, my favorite one she did came out of her interest in working with glass, which she started to use a lot in her artworks.  The one I loved was an installation she did for a museum that was once and old retirement home for sailors.  She wanted to create something that represented that past history of the installation space and very intrigued by rope and they ways it can be conformed and displayed.  Using her newfound love for glass,  she wanted to reference rope, casting it like a river weaving throughout the installation space.  She created these beautiful crystal ropes, which had an amazing fading soft blue hue to it.  The rope weaved through the walls, tying into knots, flowing like a soft and majestic river.  Something about these soft blue crystal ropes intertwining through white walls, mesmerized me and even by looking at the pictures, allowed my mind to transform the room and imagine thee sailors that used to be there.

By the end of the lecture, I felt that I had a newfound grasp about how my feelings and experiences can be transformed into my artwork, using so much more materials than I would think of.  She taught me that I could create with my mind and emotions, and not to worry about being neat or if I mess up because in her mind there are no mistakes in her art, just improvements.

Visiting Artist Lecture 1-Natalie Prescott

Natalie Prescott

Visiting Artist Lecture: Janine Antoni



I really enjoyed the visiting artist lecture by Janine Antoni. Antoni was born and raised in the Bahamas so she grew up being pretty secluded from life outside of Bahamian lifestyle. This made her adventures outside of her hometown a must in order to figure out who she is and what kind of artist she is. It wasn’t until she realized that she never had to leave the Bahamas to figure this out that she figured out who she was as an artist. Antoni is an artist who works within the relationship of her body and the object.  Janine Antoni is an amazing artist of the 21st Century, known for her contemporary art pieces and performances. Continue reading

Lecture Review_Brittney Johnson

Artist Review 1

Brittney Johnson

ARTH 3539

Artist Lecture #1

Richard Tuttle


            During the introduction of Richard Tuttle by Mark Addison, I learned that Richard Tuttle’s focus is on humble materials and creating art composed of something simpler.  In the pictures displayed, focused on his “What’s the Wind” show, I saw this was true.  Richard Tuttle is an artist focused on creating meaning from modest and seemingly random materials.  Tuttle’s use of simple supplies may encourage his ideal of accessible art but it is truly that his art is “not about materiality.”  For Tuttle, all art is a “spiritual revelation.” Continue reading

Visiting Scholar Program- Heidi Gearhart (Camille Paley)

Visiting Scholar Program

“Is there Virtue in Virtuosity?” Art and Skill in the Medieval Monastery

A Lecture by Heidi Gearhart

Heidi Gearhart is a brilliant Postdoctoral fellow working under the highly acclaimed Getty Research Institute. In her recent paper Theophilus’ On Diverse Arts: Artists and Art-Making in the High Middle Ages, she aims to illuminate the practices of medieval artist and the motives behind their work. Continue reading

Wu Hung- Three Gorges Dam Contemporary Art

March 20, 2012

The lecture series this week was presented by Wu Hung. This lecture focused on Contemporary Art in response to the Three Gorges Dam, which is a recent architectural development and political issue in China. The construction of the Three Gorges Dam officially began in 1994. This large-scale project has created much controversy from the beginning. On the positive side towards wanting to build the dam, it was argued the following reasons. It could develop a lot of clean energy important to the growth and stability of the country. 1/9 of the energy could be supplied to China, which is equivalent to 15 million tons of coal and 15 nuclear power plants. They argued that it would lower gas emissions and help the environment. Also, control of the river will save and prevent deaths from flood issues (300,000 citizens have died from flooding in the 20th century). On the other hand, there are negative reactions. Many people reference the severe impact on the humans, i.e. thousands of towns had to relocate. Factories could contaminate the water. Furthermore, the whole ecosystem of the entire region would be disrupted, and some people were concerned for the loss of the natural beauty, which will be changed forever. Due to the fact that there are millions of Chinese people being affected with different reactions, a strong art response was rightfully natural. In this essay, I will focus on the artwork of three of the artists mentioned by Wu Hung.

Zhuang Hui was really at the forefront of the art response. He had been following the debate for years and planned out his long-term project from the beginning. He drilled holes into the ground in three sites (corresponding to the three gorges) prior to the construction. In a way, he is “digging up the land” and altering the land like the Dam project is. Hui then photographed the holes. He waited 12 years until the construction was complete and instructed a photographer to shoot the same locations as where his holes were placed years previously. In these photographs, we see vast spaces of water, and the extreme contrast to the way it used to look. The success of his artwork and strengths rely on his dedication to duration, and how it makes a huge visual and emotional impact. Hui, in an interview with Hung, explained that the pictures made his heart ache, because something had disappeared. There is a pain within him related to what was lost with the Three Gorges Dam.

Yun-fei Ji was an artistic vision since childhood, born with immense intelligence and talent. Ji skipped high school and went directly to Art Grad School. Upon graduation, Ji moved to NYC and was quickly recognized and became successful in some major shows in the 90s. Although art critics and curators were fascinated with his work produced in America, the Three Gorges Dam had created such an emotional response within him that he moved back to China. This really speaks to the grand impact that this Dam created across the entire globe. He had originally created art works that were done in the traditional Chinese landscape aesthetic, such as the well-known Travelers amid Streams and Mountains. However, Ji’s artwork was often surreal, with mythical creatures, and spoke to the traumatic past of China. The Three Gorges Dam shifted his gaze towards the present. Ji was extremely interested in the emotional and environmental impact in the local villages.  In the artwork entitled, “Water Rising,” the artist attempts to capture that moment of the villagers having to evacuate. Wu Hung found connections to Refugees, from the 13th and 14th centuries. Both of these artworks deal with people relocating, and both express the realistic and the grotesque. Both are responding to politics.

Chen Qiuling is a female artist that brought a different perspective on the Three Gorges Dam. First of all, she is a local person from the area affected. Originally in her career she worked with graphics and installation art. Upon returning home to her village, she filmed a video in response to her horrified, upset feelings. It was entitled, “Rhapsody on Farewell.” There are sequences of demolition of buildings, and her emotion and attachment to home is clearly conveyed. Qiuling told Wu Hung, when he interviewed her, that she felt someone had taken away her memories by force and that it made her very sad and angry. It is interesting that as she continued making art videos, her feelings evolved and changed. Her videos are as follows: Rhapsody on Farewell (2002), River, River (2005), Color Lines (2006), and Garden (2007). Her emotions and pain were resolved through the video making process. Garden shows new modern high rises that re-oriented peoples eyes towards different spectacles to reorient into seeing hope and a better future. Qiuling offers a valuable insiders position and she examines her day to day changes. She experienced sacrifice and shared her dream to have a better life in the future. The significance of her videos relies not in documentation, but in their sensitive reflection of complicated internal emotions of the artist personally.

There are two major considerations to consider when reflecting on the building of the dam and the art. First is how memory and recognition of the dam resides in minds and hearts. Second is to reflect on the art and politics interaction/relationship, and the content and language of artistic representation. Here we see three very different approaches to artistically representing the response to the Three Gorges Dam. Zhuang Hui documents the before and after through his conceptual art and we focus on the environmental impact here. Yun-fei Ji uses his traditional painting to focus on the politics and the people affected. Chen Qiuling uses her videos to offer an introspective of the emotional responses of a local citizen. All three of these offers a complex view on the Three Gorges Dam and definitely on contemporary art in China.


Zhuang Hui

Before- Holes

After- Water

 Yun-fei Ji

Chen Qiuling



Visiting artist paper 1

Lucy Eyears


Arth 3539

Visiting Artist Lecture Paper  Continue reading

Annie Davis Visiting Artist Paper

Janine Antoni

            Janine Antoni visited the University of Colorado on March 6th to talk about her artwork. She earned her BA from Sarah Lawrence College, her MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and moved on to acquire many achievements such as the Guggenheim Fellowship. Antoni works in many mediums, but most know her for her installations and performance pieces.

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Fredrick Jameson

On February 23rd I went to the artist visiting lecture featuring Fredrick Jameson. Jameson currently is teaching at Duke University where covers many topics including cinema, modernism, post modernity as a whole, and philosophy as a symptom of art.  Modernism is a period that is over and done with, post modernity is the new historical movement that is considered to have started around 1980. Post modernity as a whole is a way of thinking and constructivism.

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Aki Sasamoto

I went to the Aki Sasamoto lecture this past week. What a trip she is. Goofy, with a laugh that seals the deal, but sharp as a knife. Her work as a performance artist is a mix of her training in dance, education and theatre. She started her performance career in dance. You can see that influence through her movement in her work as she rolls around and hangs from things and finds poses that are going to best influence her audience. She expresses her feelings in her work like that of a dancer, interacting with her created stage in bold and confident movement. Continue reading

Erika Doss Lecture Review

Marlena Chanel Host

Erika Doss’ lecture on “Cultural Vandalism and Public Memory,” turned out to be very intriguing. Though its long title was suggestive of several broad ideas, Doss was able to draw these together effectively into a very insightful and clear lecture. Her discussion was centered on a socially contested piece of public art, Reynaldo Rivera’s ‘Juan de Onate’ sculpture. Though she used this sculpture and the acts of vandalism and dispute surrounding it as the focal point of her argument, her lecture was very wide reaching and encompassed several examples and ideas concerning the heated responses to art as a reflection of anger in contemporary American society. Continue reading

Visiting Artist Lecture 1-Joan Kee

Alysa Sharp

Visiting Artist Lecture 1

ARTH 3539

Joan Kee

After going to go see Joan Kee on February 14, 2012 it brought forth a new light as to how to look at cultures through the lens of an artist.   Joan Kee’s main topic of discussion was cultural studies focusing on the work of Ming Wong, an artist who address multiculturalism and explores his own relationship to contemporary art within his pieces.  Being an Anthropology major myself I thought that this talk would give new insight as to how to perceive artists works in different cultures and how they are in particular depict a certain aspect or certain part of that culture. Kee helped illuminate the Singapore culture through the works of Ming Wong. Continue reading

Christina Binstock Artist lec.

Christina Binstock

Visiting Artist


Aki Sasomato

            This unique artist calls herself the “Green Dragon.” Continue reading

Aki Sasamoto (Visiting Artist Lecture)

Rocio Ramirez

ARTH 3539

Visiting Artist Review

Aki Sasamoto is known in the art world as a sculptor, performance artist, installation artist, and many more appellations that are both diverse and somehow coalescent with one another. Sasamoto’s presentation for the CU Visiting Artist Program was threaded with humor, anecdotes, explications, and an underlying message of simplicity within complicated universal messages.

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Artist Lecture Review 1- Erika Doss

Samantha Gault

ARTH 3539

Review of Artist Lecture: Erika Doss (Art History Lecture Series)

Erika Doss was introduced by one of her peers as a former professor of Art History at CU and a current professor and chair in the Department of American Studies at the University of Notre Dame.  Doss’ lecture was entitled, “Cultural Vandalism and Public Memory: Anger, Citizenship, and Memorials in Contemporary America”, the focus of which was on contemporary memorials and affect, or the ways in which feeling can shape the way that we recognize and respond to these memorials.  Continue reading

Visiting Scholar – Joan Kee

I attended Joan Kee’s lecture “Ming Wong’s Cultural Studies” on February 14, 2012.  Joan Kee is a professor at the University of Michigan whose studies in art focus mainly on contemporary east asian painting, but she also has a law degree from Harvard and has studied art’s relationship with the law, which I find very interesting.  Her lecture on the 14th was primarily on Ming Wong, a contemporary performance artist from Singapore.  Ming Wong’s pieces are most often reproductions of scenes from cinema or theater in which he replaces the characters with himself and other actors and/or actresses.  Wong’s performances, according to Kee, are an examination of identity. She stresses that this does not necessarily refer to self identity and expression, but to a broader cultural, linguistic, and gender based idea of identity. Continue reading

Lecture response – Extra Credit

After the lecture on February 14, 2012 , I have a few comments regarding performance art.  To be quite honest, it was hard for me to connect some of the listed happenings to art when the lecture was going on. Some of the performances seemed to simplistic, boring, and dull that I couldn’t imagine attending them and actually being able to walk out satisfied with what I had saw.   For example, the performance called “Rhythm O” from Marina Abramovic in 1974 peeved me.  Not only did she have many dangerous objects that could potentially kill her, I was unsure of what her point was with this performance.  I feel that if I had attended this performance, I would not have participated in it based upon the crude, radical aura that it gives off.

Another performance that I found quite interesting was the “Tap and Touch Cinema” by Valle Export in 1968.  I thought that this performance was quite humorous. Using a box in front of the females body parts and having men touch what was inside the box, without actually seeing it, seems silly to me. My first initial thought was that if I was the artist or the performer, I would have laughed quite a lot.  I would also have felt embarrassed because of how goofy it looked and how judgmental the men would be.

The last performance that I wanted to comment on was the “Anthropotmetric” performance by Yves Klein in 1960.  By using naked women as the artists paintbrushes, I believe that this degrades the entire female species. Not only does the artist used the women as tools to make a painting, by dragging them across a canvas, but he also uses their NAKED bodies while an audience watches.  Especially in the 1960s when the civil rights movements were at their peak, I think that this performance is insulting. If I had attended, I probably would have walked out disgusted.

For the most part, performance art interests me the most because there is actual visual movement. I find it hard to get myself involved in art that doesn’t move or doesn’t have a specific meaning behind it. For example, contemporary art and land art bore me. So performance art is so far my favorite.

Visiting Artist Arlene Shechet -Romney Smith

Visiting Artist Paper: Arlene Shechet

Romney Smith

Arlene Shechet is an artist that works with ceramics, plaster, and various other materials to create interesting pieces that range from obvious to quite unordinary. I found her lecture to be very personal, it is easy to grasp a sense of her personality and mind just by listening to her talk. Most of her works express the thoughts and feelings in her life. As she flowed through sharing one project to another I found myself continuously astounded by her creativity and out of the box ideas. Continue reading

Visiting Artist Lecture Review #1

Lindsey Cannon

Visiting Artist Paper



Arlene Shechet just honored by Art in America as being one of the finest ceramists known in the twenty-first century. Her ability to alter forms through papermaking, plaster and clay are only definitive’s to original expression. Shechet has recreated the social perspective of what is acceptably valued through rebellious formation by constructing each piece through an intrepid process.

She is mostly known for her earlier works through manipulating plaster as a medium, giving birth to her practice as an artist and the discovery of Buddhism. This Eastern influenced developed as a continuous theme through out her work framing the iconic image of the Buddha, Stupa and the connection to enlightenment. One of her most known works is Mountain Buddha, which was made in 1994. This piece embodies this overlapping process of layering mediums of paper pulp, hydrocal, acrylic paint skins and plaster. This piece exemplifies the process of life. Each individual consists of these “layers” that have ultimately influenced and changed their initial being. Shechet’s explanation for the notorious applicant of paint skins throughout her work is that it allows her to “paint without canvas.” This connects to the whole ideology to the Buddhist religion and Eastern heritage, applying her array of mediums as an expressive act of freedom and practice. The artist identifies her figure prints as a building process of painting, drawing and sculpture.

Another example of her work was influenced from this iconic figure of the Buddha  were Stupa architectural plans. This refined relic also connected to the Mandala plants and a place where one can find a sense of clarity. This theme introduced a method of plaster, which invited a chaotic scene of flooding each piece through a dissolution process. It was a production for the unknown resulting product. The Stupa architectural reliquary containers raise a domestic version of depository and ceremonial objects. Shechet created one hundred paper vessels and their plaster molds mirroring it’s form. This piece evokes commemoration and a silenced memorial for loved ones lost. These vessels were relative toward Japanese porcelain vases, relative to the blue and white arrangement of its original form.

Shechet’s work progressed into ceramics, building complex sculptures out of clay and glass.  Inspired by  the artist Otto Dix,  Shechet’s work took on a distorted disposition through coiling her mediums and creating precarious structures. Her  fascination with the three dimensional object and the embodiment of transforming the environment of the viewer is represented in every form. Glass Blower and Beside Beside both illustrate this empowering relationship of objectification. Glass Blower is a crystal rope instillation that is woven through the walls in an act of commemorating sailors in a retirement home. This blue river holds the room together and exemplifies both fragile and durable purpose of the object. Beside Beside is similar to the glass form because it has created the illusion of instability. Coiled clay is horizontally stacked to an uncomfortable elevation. This piece possesses insecurity, which connects to the artist sporadic process of developing these forms.

The artist’s muse is directed to the conscious and unconscious action of experience continuously growing and learning from each form and centralizing with the object. Her work represents between the secular and sacred recreating abstraction with the unpredictable.

Visiting Artist 2.7.12-MeganMcgrain

Arlene Shechet Visiting Artist 2.7.12

Beginning in the early 1990s, Arlene was greatly influenced by the Buddhist culture.  Arlene began working on her pieces from a Buddhist framework based on iconic imagery. She explained to the crowd that “death was something that was not addressed”. This had greatly impacted her work at this time, from the death of her friend and also the birth of her children, Arlene was very aware and acknowledging these life changing moments. Her work was to reflect these thoughts and interpretations of time, by using simplistic materials and the familiar imagery from the East.  Continue reading

Visiting Artist Lecture Paper

Elissa Buchalter

Visiting Artist Paper #1


Arlene Shechet is a ceramic artist from New York that came to speak at the University of Colorado Visiting Artist Lecture Series last Tuesday. Arlene received her BA from NYU and her MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design.  Continue reading

Ryan Shand Artist Lecture Paper

Artist Lecture

Arlene Shechet’s attitude-infused lecture–if you missed it, too bad.

Arlene Shechet’s lecture really conveyed her personality. Every statement she made was imbued with her personal style of delivery and insights into the nuances of her practice. This personal touch is the best ingredient of a successful lecture because beyond informing the audience about the artist, it inspires them in their own process as well. The structure of the lecture was indicative of Arlene’s sculptural practice. She molded her points and observations in such a way as to create both a chronological look at her selected works and a conceptual weaving through them. Just like her sculptural practice, her talk ebbed and flowed, drawing on previous points and highlighting the prevalence of fluidity and circularity in her sculpture. Continue reading

Visiting Artist Paper #1- Erica Doss

I found Erica Doss’s work to be very interesting.  It opened my mind to the way people vandalize artwork today, in that some have purpose behind it.  Not everyone vandalizes things just because they have nothing better to do.  Erica Doss gave many examples of vandalism that had reason and feeling behind them. Continue reading