Submitted by Patricia M. Allen

February 26, 2008
Contact: Caroline Jenkins Hanna
Director of Media Relations


AMHERST, Mass.—Thursday, Feb. 28 through Sunday, June 8, the Mead Art Museum at Amherst College will host a new exhibition titled “The Third Space: Cultural Identity Today.” The show—which will also feature a gallery talk and reception March 27 and artist talks April 3 and 7—considers cultural identity in a global society and explores the effects of displacement, alienation, exile, diaspora, transnationalism, hybridity and cosmopolitanism.

 “The Third Space: Cultural Identity Today” consists of 15 works by nine artists. Included are pieces from the Mead’s permanent collection and loans in a range of artistic media—video, photography, painting and installation. In addition to Ghanaian-German artist Daniel Kojo and Indonesian artist Entang Wiharso, both Amherst College Copeland fellows, and French-Algerian artist Zoulikha Bouabdellah, Amherst Department of Art and Art History Artist-in-Residence, the artists featured in the exhibition are Moroccan Lalla Essaydi, Palestinian Mona Hatoum, Vietnamese-American Dinh Q. Lê, Iranian-American Shirin Neshat, Nigerian-Cuban-American Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons and Native American Jaune Quick-To-See Smith.

The title “The Third Space” is taken from the work of the influential cultural and post-colonial theorist Homi Bhabha; it refers to the interstices between colliding cultures, a liminal space “which gives rise to something different, something new and unrecognizable, a new area of negotiation of meaning and representation.” In this “in-between” space, new cultural identities are formed, reformed and constantly in a state of becoming. Artists at work in “the third space” speak of a creative edge that derives from the condition of being in a place that simultaneously is and is not one’s home.

Exhibition curator Carol Solomon Kiefer, Bouabdellah, Kojo and Wiharso will give a gallery talk followed by a reception for “The Third Space: Cultural Identity Today” on Thursday, March 27, at 4:30 p.m., with an exhibition viewing immediately following from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Other events associated with the show include artist talks by Bouabdellah on April 3 at 4:30 p.m. in Fayerweather Hall’s Pruyne Lecture Hall and by Kojo on April 7 at 7:30 p.m. at the Mead Art Museum. All are free and open to the public.

“The Third Space: Cultural Identity Today” is part of a year-long interdisciplinary initiative at Amherst College on the theme of “Art and Identity in the Global Community.”  The exhibition is generously supported by the Hall and Kate Peterson Fund, the Templeton Photography Fund and the Amherst Arts Series Fund.

The Mead Art Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Thursday evening until 9 p.m. For more information, visit the museum’s Web site, or call 413/542-2335.