Art Department Events

Most departmental events take place in the Eli Marsh Gallery (105 Fayerweather Hall) or Pruyne Lecture Hall (115 Fayerweather). Check this calendar often for updates—events are added and edited frequently. For additional arts events on campus, see what’s happening at the Mead.

Mon, Mar 2, 2020

Image of one person with their arm around another as they look out over a body of water toward mountains at either sunrise or sunset

“Mariah Garnett Selected Video Works,” An Exhibition by Mariah Garnett

Selected Video Works presents four videos by Mariah Garnett made between 2010 and 2014. These works represent the early cornerstones of her experimental documentary practice. In all four films, the relationship between subject and filmmaker is foregrounded, calling into question the power dynamics at play in representational art practices.

“Garbage, The City, And Death” uses a Fassbinder text to reframe a real-life relationship between long-lost siblings as a romantic rivalry. It was Garnett’s first attempt to mix theatricality with a real relationship between herself and her subject.

“Picaresques” takes its inspiration from Lieutenant Nun, the autobiography of a transgender conquistador at the turn of the 17th century as its inspiration and abruptly becomes a portrait of Garnett’s own friendship with a 9-year-old tomboy from Santa Monica. It is an attempt to look to the past and future for heroes of a similar gender to the artist’s own.

“Encounters I May or May Not Have Had with Peter Berlin” moves through phases of idolization, anxiety ending in a touchdown in reality in a conversation between the artist and Berlin himself. This is the first film in which Garnett used impersonation as a strategy for representing her subject.

Finally, “Full Burn” marks a shift in Garnett’s practice away from overtly queer themes to the geopolitical. It is a portrait of four U.S. war veterans who have continued to use their own physicality to earn a living, three as stunt men and one as a massage therapist. It is a meditation on masculine duty, trauma and re-enactment.

Bio:
Mariah Garnett is an artist and filmmaker who lives and works in Los Angeles. She holds a B.A. in American civilization and an M.F.A. from California Institute of the Arts in film/video. In 2019 she was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in Film/Video for her feature film, Trouble, which premiered at the London Film Festival and was named one of the best documentaries of the year by Sight + Sound. Her work has screened and been exhibited internationally at venues including The New Museum, The Hammer Museum, Tate Belfast, REDCAT, SFMoMA and her exhibiting gallery, Commonwealth + Council. She is a MacDowell Fellow, and her work has been featured in Bomb, Artforum and Reverse Shot.

Thu, Mar 5, 2020

75 Dollar Bill, image courtesy of Alex Phillipe Cohen

75 Dollar Bill Performance

Free performance of the nomad rhythm band, 75 Dollar Bill, 8:00 p.m., Thursday, March 5th, at the Power House.

75 Dollar Bill was formed in 2012 in New York City by percussionist Rick Brown and guitarist Che Chen. Played on a deeply resonant plywood crate, Brown’s earthy, elemental rhythms are both the foundation and foil for Chen’s ecstatic, modal guitar style. The duo’s electric, richly patterned music can shape shift from joyful dance tunes to slowly changing trance minimalism, an uncategorizable hybrid which draws on the modal traditions of West Africa, India and the Middle East, early electric blues, Sun Ra’s space chords and the minimalist and No Wave histories of their hometown. While Brown and Chen are always at the band’s core, the duo frequently expands into other configurations live and on record, from trio to 25-piece marching band.

75 Dollar Bill has released a string of cassettes and three LPs the most recent of which, the double album I Was Real was released in 2019 on Thin Wrist in North America, and on tak:til, a subimprint of Glitterbeat, in Europe and the UK to wide critical acclaim

Thu, Mar 12, 2020

Still from the film Garbage, The City, And Death, courtesy of the artist

Opening Lecture and reception with Mariah Garnett

Join Mariah Garnett for a lecture and the opening of her exhibition on view in the Eli Marsh Gallery March 2nd – March 27th.

"Selected Video Works" presents four videos by Garnett made between 2010 and 2014. These works represent the early cornerstones of her experimental documentary practice. In all four films, the relationship between subject and filmmaker is foregrounded, calling into question the power dynamics at play in representational art practices.

Art Department News

A Life and Career Celebrating Artists of Color

Kellie Jones '81 and a group of students

With Kellie Jones ’81

In a recent talk on campus, MacArthur Fellow Kellie Jones ’81 connected her Amherst experience to her career as an art historian and curator, offering some advice to current students along the way.

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 Curated By Thieves

In an interview with Assistant Professor of Art and the History of Art Niko Vicario, artist Kota Ezawa talks about how an FBI database sparked his interest in the still unsolved Gardner Museum art heist of 1990 and led him to recreate 13 lost artworks. (Read more)

Women, Art and Wikipedia

Students in Professor Nicola Courtright’s course “Women and Art in Early Modern Europe” joined an international initiative to bridge the gap between academia and Wikipedia, highlighting women in the arts along the way. (Read more)