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W@TC: Theaster Gates and The Glass Lantern Slide Collection: Sixty Thousand Ways to Unsettle an Art Historical Canon

Speaker

Elizabeth Brown, Kristine Stiles

Elizabeth Brown is a seventh-year doctoral student in Duke University's Department of Art, Art History & Visual Studies and a 2023-2024 Global and Justice Fellow. Brown received her B.A. in Art History from Manhattanville College, New York. She completed her M.A. in Art History from Hunter College, New York. Before entering the doctoral program at Duke, Elizabeth held positions at the Guggenheim Museum and The Studio Museum in Harlem in New York. In this talk, she will discuss the motivations behind Chicago-based multimedia artist, potter, and urban planner Theaster Gates's bold decision to acquire the University of Chicago Art History Department's deaccessioned collection of sixty thousand glass lantern slides in 2006. Throughout this presentation, Brown proposes that through his long-term projects and exhibition-making approach, Gates challenges and reclaims the discipline of art history as his work depicts the historicity of his own position in the canon and art world economies. Brown's dissertation is devoted to Gates's physical transformations of the built environment and urban landscape of Chicago. Brown also considers how Gates has critically integrated various collections and archives into the history of Chicago through his stewardship of various collections, and she studies his impact on Black culture, life and creativity. Brown's presentation will be followed by a discussion moderated by respondent Professor Kristine Stiles, France Family Distinguished Professor of Art, Art History, and Visual Studies; Department of Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Duke University. Kristine Stiles (Ph.D. 1987, University of California at Berkeley) is a historian of contemporary art and artists' writings. She specializes in experimental art, from performance and conceptual art to violence, destruction, and trauma. Her theoretical interests include Trauma Studies, German Studies, Visual & Media Studies, Feminism, Race and Gender studies, and International Comparative Studies. Stiles is the author of over 100 journal articles, book chapters, and exhibition catalogue essays. This event will be hybrid. Registration is required to join via Zoom. Light refreshments will be provided.

Categories

Lecture/Talk, Research, United States Focus, Visual and Creative Arts