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AMHERST, Mass.—Entang Wiharso, a Copeland Fellow at Amherst College, will present a performance piece titled “Eating Identity” at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 22, on the Main Quadrangle in front of the Mead Art Museum at Amherst College. The first in a series of Copeland Fellow events on the theme of “Art and Identity in the Global Community,” the event is open to the public at no charge.
Entang Wiharso was born in Central Java, Indonesia, and now divides his time between Rhode Island and Indonesia. Wiharso’s work explores his heritage as an Indonesian citizen on the larger global stage, often examining humanity’s duplicitous and contradictory nature and scrutinizing social relations. Of his upcoming Amherst performance, Wiharso notes that in an era of increasing globalization, identity is increasingly difficult to pinpoint. “This piece is part of an ongoing exploration of identity issues that have existed in my work since the late 1990s,” he says. “In my current series of performances, the action takes place on and around a large central table, where diners share a common meal and yet remain distant from each other. The central question in this performance is: What does identity mean, and how can it be read?”
Described as a man “who can paint the uncertainty of identity honestly,” Wiharso has performed and exhibited his paintings around the world. The Indonesian Fine Art Foundation has recognized him as one of his country’s Top 10 Painters, and he received a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant for 2007-08.
Each year, the Copeland Colloquium brings a group of visiting scholars and artists to Amherst College. This year’s colloquium theme, “Art and Identity in the Global Community,” was proposed by a group of faculty as the outcome of cross-disciplinary discussions on “the ways in which artists and scholars are revising notions of community identity as well as aesthetic conventions in response to new developments in media and migration.” Faculty representing seven different academic departments and the Mead Art Museum joined to become sponsors and organizers of this year’s Copeland Colloquium. Five international artists, working in a broad spectrum of mediums, are now in residence for both semesters of the academic year. The other Copeland Fellows will discuss their work at the Mead Art Museum at 7:30 p.m. on the first Monday of the month in November, December, February and March.