Announcing the Spring 2015 Art in the First person lecture series

This semester, the Visual & Critical Studies Program is sponsoring four lectures as part of SVA’s ongoing Art in the First Person series. Here the full schedule for all four, including details on the speakers, dates, and topics. I will post updates here as each approaches. You can also find a listing of our lectures on the VCS website, and the entire SVA spring schedule on the SVA website.

Monday, February 16, 6:30 pm
Alfredo Jaar: It Is Difficult
With an introduction by Carla Stellweg

Alfredo Jaar

SVA Beatrice Theater
333 West 23rd Street, New York, NY 10011

ALFREDO JAAR is an architect, artist and filmmaker. Over the past decades he has shown an unwavering penchant to base all his work on in-depth research in regards to political, social or community-based issues. From his 1979-1981 billboards Studies on Happiness around Santiago, Chile to his electronic billboard A Logo for America in Times Square, first shown in 1987 and recently revived this past August 2014, Jaar’s public interventions have focused not only on geographical space but also on the cultural and political specifics of those places. His serious interest in information, history and details behind a particular location enables his work to operate as a tool for new models of thinking about art in the world of culture at large.

Jaar’s SVA presentation will expand on the unique relationships of architecture and art in his past and current work including its social and political impact.

Monday, February 23, 6:30 pm
Leo Treitler: Our Mimetic Heritage from Plato to Louis Vuitton

133-141 West 21st Street, room 101C
New York, NY 10011

The concept of “mimesis” comes down to us from Greek Antiquity, evidently deriving the connotation of its name from the word for actor, “mimos,” in the context of either ritual or entertainment dramas of the culture. Given that background it took on the connotation of imitation or representational action. In either sense “mimesis” has implied a dichotomy of appearance as against reality. And under a compulsion for seeing likenesses the embrace of virtual realities is encouraged–a realization of fears notoriously expressed by Plato. The paper explores these pathways and their issue in aspects of contemporary culture and policy–for example the Louis Vuitton phenomenon, but also the conception of war and peace in the eyes of American populations and their governments.

Leo Treitler was born in Dortmund, Germany in 1931 and emigrated to the US in April, 1938. He studied composition with Boris Blacher at the Hochschule für Musik, Berlin 1957-58, received BA and MA degrees in music from the University of Chicago, MFA and PhD in music from Princeton University, and Doctor of Music /Honoris Causa /from the New England Conservatory of Music. He has held professorial positions at the University of Chicago, Brandeis University, Stony Brook University, the Graduate Center of the City University of New York where he is Distinguished Professor of Music Emeritus since 2003, and guest professorships at Basel (Switzerland), Berkeley, Columbia, Frankfurt (Germany), Harvard, and Yale Universities. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the New York Institute for the Humanities. Books published: Music and the Historical Imagination, With Voice and Pen: Coming to Know Medieval Song and How it was Made, Strunk’s Source Readings in Music History, Revised Edition, Reflections on Musical Meaning and its Representations.

Monday, March 16, 2015, 6:30 pm
Cara Starke on Creative Time

133-141 West 21st Street, room 101C
New York, NY 10011

Over the past four decades, Creative Time has commissioned and presented ambitious public art projects with thousands of artists throughout New York City, across the country, around the world. Guided by three core values—art matters, artists’ voices are important in shaping society, and public spaces are places for creative and free expression—Creative Time is deeply committed to presenting important art for our times and engaging broad audiences that transcend geographic, racial, and socioeconomic barriers.

Cara Starke, Director of Exhibitions at Creative Time, will speak about Creative Time’s innovative and meaningful history—from Tribute in Light, the twin beacons of light that illuminated lower Manhattan six months after 9/11, to Paul Chan’s production of Waiting for Godot in New Orleans, to Kara Walker’s A Subtlety at the Domino Sugar Factory—as well as the process of commissioning artists, and the challenges of engaging public spaces as places for creative and free expression.

As the Director of Exhibitions at Creative Time, Starke heads the department that commissions artists and presents public art projects. Previously she was Assistant Curator at The Museum of Modern Art, where she collaborated with artists and organized exhibitions with the Department of Media and Performance Art.

Monday, April 6, 6:30 pm
Sadequain: A Talk by Saiyid Ali Naqvi

133-141 West 21st Street, room 101C
New York, NY 10011

Sadequain is considered one of the most original, controversial and prolific artists of his time. His remarkable career spanned three decades and witnessed a feverish flurry of creativity which resulted in several thousands of paintings, etchings, drawings, calligraphy and giant mural which adorn institutions in South Asia and in the West. As an introduction to Sadequain – the Pakistani artist and poet (1930-1987) who’s art works span three decades of pen ink drawings, oil paintings, large scale murals and calligraphy – the lecture will briefly locate the artist within his political, social and emotional context and how these contributed to and shaped his creativity.

Saiyid Ali Naqvi is the author of Indus Waters and Social Change. And is currently working on his second book ‘Sadequain Painter and Poet’ and his book of verse ‘Mashke Sukhan’ (The Practice of Poetry) He grew up with his cousin Sadequain in Amroha where they spent their childhood together in the same compound of homes in their mohalla in Amroha. From early adulthood they shared each other’s thoughts and passions. These are beautifully reflected in Sadequain’s mural, The Saga of Labour, which adorns the wall of the machine room of Mangla Dam Power Station. The author takes great pride in having persuaded both the artist and the engineers to create a mural that celebrates human endeavour for development and nature’s beauty.


Visual & Critical Studies