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November Visual Arts at Northwestern

Events at Block Museum, Dittmar Gallery, University Library, One Book and more

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October 28, 2013 | by Judy Moore

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Discussions with leading figures in the global, national and Chicago art worlds will take place at Northwestern University’s Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art this November.

The Block Museum will host the Northwestern department of art theory and practice Visiting Artist Lecture featuring Mark Dion on Friday, Nov. 1 and a panel discussion on the exhibition dOCUMENTA (13) with artistic director Carolyn Christov-Bakagiev, the Edith Kreeger Wolf Distinguished Visiting Professor on Wednesday, Nov. 13, among other programs. For more information on these and other events, visit Block Museum or call (847) 491-4000.

Northwestern’s Dittmar Memorial Gallery will host J. Thomas Pallas’ “The Institute for Encyclopedic Amalgamation,” Oct. 25 through Dec. 10.” The interactive exhibition invites visitors to engage with the collection. For more information, contact the Dittmar Gallery at (847) 491-2348 or Norris University Center at (847) 491-2300, email dittmargallery@northwestern.edu.

Northwestern University Library hosts two exhibitions. “Past, Paper, Scissors: Scrapbooks from the Northwestern University Library Collections” explores the history of Northwestern and beyond as revealed in scrapbooks of a bygone era. “Alexander Hesler’s Picturesque Evanston,” a digitized exhibit in the corridor linking the Main and Deering libraries, showcases historic photos of 19th century Evanston by the prominent photographer. Both exhibits run through Jan. 3, 2014. For more information, visit Northwestern University Library or call (847) 491-7658.

DEPARTMENT OF ART THEORY AND PRACTICE

The department of art theory and practice at the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences offers free public lectures by visiting artists throughout the academic year. Some will take place at the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art

ONE BOOK ONE NORTHWESTERN 

One Book One Northwestern has scheduled film screenings, two themed dinner/panel discussions, a conference on agricultural innovation and a student photo exhibition. All are free and open to the public. For more, visit One Book One Northwestern.

MARY AND LEIGH BLOCK MUSEUM OF ART

Northwestern University’s Mary and Leigh Block Museum is located at 40 Arts Circle Drive, on the Evanston campus. Admission to the Block Museum programs listed below is free, unless noted. The museum is closed on Monday. For more information, visit Block Museum or call (847) 491-4000.

CONSTRUCTION ALERT

A long-term construction project on Northwestern’s south campus has limited access to the Block Museum and Arts Circle Drive. Free parking is available in the lot directly south of the museum. For directions and parking information, visit Block Museum.

BLOCK MUSEUM NOVEMBER 2013 EVENTS

Department of Art Theory and Practice Visiting Artist Talk: Mark Dion, “Illuminating Explication of Complex Peripatetic Endeavors,” 6:30 to 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 1, Block Museum. Dion will speak about his work, which examines how dominant ideologies and public institutions shape our understanding of history, science and environment. Dion’s work is featured in the upcoming “The Way of the Shovel: Art as Archaeology” at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. This program is free and open to the public.

Mark Dion: Krypto-Zoologist, noon to 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 2, Chicago History Museum, 1601 N. Clark St., Chicago. Dion, whose work frequently mines -- and mimes -- museums, joins Lisa Granziose Corrin, the Ellen Philips Katz Director of the Block Museum, in a discussion of his work. This program is presented by the Block Museum in partnership with the Chicago Humanities Festival (CHF) and Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. It is part of CHF’s Richard Gray Visual Art Series. Tickets are $5 for teachers and students; $10 for the general public. Tickets are available at Chicago Humanities.

Kaplan Artist-in-Residence Lecture and Screening, John Neff: Pleasure and Disciplines of Daily Life, 5:15 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 6, Pick-Laudati Auditorium, Block Museum of Art, 40 Arts Circle Drive. Neff is a Chicago-based artist and curator whose photos were presented in a spring 2012 solo exhibition at The Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago. Neff also has shown his work at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, the Hyde Park Art Center and Golden Gallery. The program is organized by Northwestern’s Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities and cosponsored by the departments of art history and art theory and practice. It is free and open to the public.

“The Locational Turn: Reflections from Chicago on dOCUMENTA in Kassel, Alexandria, Banff and Kabul,” 5:15 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 13. For dOCUMENTA (13), artistic director Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev revolutionized the exhibition by locating the project in four sites around the world -- choosing not only places renowned for international art, but zones of conflict and sociopolitical transformation. Along with being sited in Kassel, Germany, the project took place in Alexandria, Egypt; Banff, Canada; and Kabel, Afghanistan. This “locational turn” raised questions of globalization, as well as the conceptual complexity of organizing something at once worldwide and singular.

Speaking to the context of these multiple sites, Christov-Bakargiev will be in conversation with a group of leading Chicago-based artists and critics, including: Claire Pentecost, professor of photography at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago; Brian Holmes, professor of philosophy at the European Graduate School; Michael Rakowitz, professor in the department of art theory and practice at Northwestern University; Dieter Roelstraete, Manilow Senior Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art; Lori Waxman, instructor in art history, theory and criticism and new arts journalism at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago; Kristina Buch, artist; and Titus Wonsey, Huguenot House Builder in Training for Theaster Gates. 

Participants will respectively speak to dOCUMENTA from the perspective of curator, participant and visitor. The program will be moderated by Susy Bielak, the Block Museum of Art’s associate director of engagement/curator of public practice.

Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, a curator, author and researcher, is the Edith Kreeger Wold Distinguished Visiting Professor at Northwestern University. Christov-Bakargiev is teaching in the department of art theory and practice for three consecutive fall quarters beginning this fall 2013. This is the first of a series of joint presentations in conjunction with her appointment for the department of art theory and practice and the Block Museum.

BLOCK MUSEUM ART EXHIBITIONS

The Block Museum of Art’s galleries are closed this fall. They will reopen in mid-January with two new winter 2014 exhibitions. “The Left Front: Radical Art in the ‘Red Decade,’ 1929-1940,” in the Main Gallery, Jan. 17 through June 22, 2014, will revisit a moment in American history when a group of artists embraced the motto “art as a social weapon,” dedicating their work and practice to activism. “Steichen| Warhol: Picture Fame,” in the Alsdorf Gallery, Jan. 17 through April 6, will examine the photographic legacies of Edward Steichen (1879-1973) and Andy Warhol (1928-1987), artists who shaped the way we envision celebrity, fame and glamour. For more information on these and other events, visit Block Museum or call (847) 491-4000.

DITTMAR MEMORIAL GALLERY

The Dittmar Memorial Gallery, Norris University Center, 1999 Campus Drive, Evanston campus, is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Admission is free. The gallery focuses on ethnic cultural art, art by emerging artists, art by or about women, artwork by Northwestern art students and traveling art shows. For more information, visit Dittmar Memorial Gallery.

DITTMAR GALLERY NOVEMBER 2013 EXHIBITION

“Away From Home” by Eun-Kyung Suh, Sept. 9 to Oct. 20, Dittmar Memorial Gallery.

J. Thomas Pallas, “The Institute for Encyclopedic Amalgamation,” Oct. 25 through Dec. 10, Dittmar Gallery. J. Thomas Pallas is the editor-in-chief of The Institute for Encyclopedic Amalgamation (IEA), a repository and sanctuary for abandoned encyclopedia sets. In this exhibition, visitors have a chance to interact with tomes of knowledge that, once ubiquitous, are now often considered obsolete. Throughout the show, visitors will get to participate in making a new IEA volume by contributing source material culled from the sets on display in the gallery. The exhibition is free and open to the public.

ONE BOOK ONE NORTHWESTERN NOVEMBER EVENTS

All of the following November 2013 One Book One Northwestern events are free and open to the public. Unless noted, reservations are not required.

Screening of “Girls Rising,” 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 11, Northwestern University’s Thorne Auditorium, Law School, 371 E. Chicago Ave., Chicago campus, and repeated 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 12, McCormick Auditorium, Norris University Center, 1999 Campus Dr., Evanston campus. The film spotlights the strength of the human spirit and the power of education to change girls and the world.

Dinner at Dittmar, “Aspects of Seasonal Hunger and Nutritional Health,” 5:30 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 13, Dittmar Memorial Gallery, Norris University Center, 1999 Campus Drive, Evanston campus. The panel discussion relates to this year’s One Book selection, “The Last Hunger Season” by Roger Thurow. It will be moderated by Northwestern’s William Leonard, professor of anthropology. The program includes a light dinner and conversation. RSVP is required to onebook@northwestern.edu.

Conference, Agricultural Innovation in Africa: Gendered and Non-gendered Paradigm Shifts, 4 to 5:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 18, Program of African Studies Conference Room, 620 Library Place, Evanston campus. Anita Spring, professor emeritus, University of Florida, will lead the discussion. More information is available online.

“Visions of Change” student photo exhibit, Monday, Nov. 18 through Friday, Nov. 24, NU Galleria, Norris University Center, 1999 Campus Drive, Evanston. The exhibit is sponsored by Northwestern’s Dittmar Memorial Gallery.

Dinner at Dittmar, “What Happened after Roger Flew Home: Inside Stories from Kenya,” 5:30 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 21, Dittmar Memorial Gallery, Norris University Center, 1999 Campus Dr., Evanston. The themed dinner and discussion is part of One Book One Northwestern. The discussion will be led by Brian Hanson, interim director of Northwestern’s Buffett Center for International Relations and Comparative Studies. RSVP is required to onebook@northwestern.edu.

UNIVERSITY LIBRARY

Exhibitions at Northwestern University Library at 1970 Campus Drive, Evanston campus, is open to the public daily from 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Members of the Northwestern community with a valid WildCARD can visit during all open library hours. Admission is free. For more information, visit Northwestern University Library or call (847) 491-7658.

UNIVERSITY LIBRARY FALL 2013 EXHIBITIONS

“Past, Paper, Scissors: Scrapbooks from the Northwestern University Library Collections,” through Jan. 3, 2014, Main Library. In an era of Facebook and Instagram, it’s important to recall that once we collected our own histories by pasting them into scrapbooks. ”Past, Paper, Scissors” explores history at Northwestern and beyond through the photos, clippings, ticket stubs, faded flowers and dance cards in scrapbooks of a bygone era. The exhibit is free and open to the public. For more information, visit Northwestern University Library or call (847) 491-7658.

“Alexander Hesler’s Picturesque Evanston,” through Jan. 3, 2014, corridor linking Northwestern University’s Main and Deering Libraries, Evanston campus. The new digitized exhibit showcases historic photos of Evanston by 19th century regional photographer Alexander Hesler (1823-1895). The exhibit celebrates Evanston’s 150th anniversary with a selection of 40 images from “Picturesque Evanston.” Each plasma screen highlights an aspect of Evanston’s past, including gracious homes, tree-lined streets, schools and churches, and the early Northwestern campus. Many of the buildings pictured are now gone, but a few remain, including University Hall, the Frances Willard House and the Methodist Church. The exhibit was curated by librarian Janet Olson and the staff of the Northwestern University Archives. Images were digitized by the library’s digital collections department and the installation was done by the library technology department. An online version is available here. For more information, visit Northwestern University Library or call (847) 491-7658.