Contemporary Artist to Lecture
Northampton, Mass.—Smith College Museum of
Art is pleased to announce an upcoming lecture by internationally
respected artist Fred Wilson, to be held in the Campus Center
Carroll Room on Wednesday, Dec. 1, from 7:30 to 9 p.m. The
lecture, "The Silent Message of the Museum," will investigate
the myth of the neutral museum space. Wilson’s work explores
how institutional contexts and curatorial bias shape our
perception of artistic value and historical truth by creating
installations that force viewers to recognize the effect
of context on our perception of objects.
In his talk—which
is the capstone lecture in MUX 118: The History and Critical
Issues of Museums—Wilson will talk about his projects with
museum collections and his perspective on the world of museums.
Wilson is perhaps best known
for his groundbreaking piece Mining the Museum, an intervention
at the Baltimore Historical Society in which he rearranged
objects from the museum’s
collection to highlight the previously undetectable narrative
of slavery. He brought to light objects from the museum’s
holdings that had previously been in storage, including Klan
hoods and slave shackles. The work characterizes Wilson’s
commitment to exposing the stories that have historically
been hidden behind the dominant narrative presented by museums,
critiquing the way in which cultural institutions can validate
or diminish the human experience.
Fred Wilson lives and works
in New York, and received his BFA from the State University
of New York, Purchase. He has represented the United States
at the Biennial Cairo and Venice Biennale, and has received
the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Achievement
Award and the Larry Aldrich Foundation Award. Currently he
is Distinguished Visiting Fellow in Objects, Exhibition,
and Knowledge at Skidmore College.
This program has been
made possible in part by the Carlyn Steiner ’67 and George
Steiner Fund, in honor of Joan Koch Smith and the Brown Foundation,
Inc. of Houston.
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