Faculty member Sabine Gruffat juror and presenter at the Athens International Film and Video Festival
The Athens International Film + Video Festival
October 15-24, 2021
Back by popular demand, AIFVF returns this October with two years of incredible films. From October 15th – 24th, 2021 The Athens International Film and Video Festival (AIFVF) will present over 500 films in competition at the historic Athena Cinema in uptown Athens, OH. This year’s festival combines both the (originally postponed due to covid) AIFVF 2020 and AIFVF 2021 festivals and features an incredible array of special events and screenings.
AIFVF’s visiting artist lineup includes OU Film alumni and festival darling Tony Buba serving as the head of the documentary jury and presenting a selection of his works on Monday, October 18 at 7:00 PM. On Tuesday, October 19 at 7:15 PM, Amber Bemak and Nadia Granados, winners of AIFVF’s 2019 experimental top prize will present a solo program of their work revolving around queer love and loss, and the political ramifications of patriarchal, imperialist power. On Friday, October 22 at 7:30 PM, Sabine Gruffat will present her material driven works that cross analog and digital signals. Bill Brown will present a program of appropriated and reconfigured landscapes on Thursday, October 21, at 7:30 PM, with topics ranging from haunted houses and memorial architecture to outsider archaeology.
During the 10 days, over 40 feature length films and plethora of short films from across the globe will screen and compete in the annual festival with winners chosen by the independent jury, garnishing cash prizes and awards including Academy Qualifying status in select categories.
Founded in 1974, the Athens International Film + Video Festival has been presenting the best in international film for 48 years. Known globally as a festival that supports cinema from independent, underground, and marginalized populations, the AIFVF represents the values that we share as a community. It is a champion of justice and provides a voice for underrepresented artists and viewpoints on a global level. For over four decades, the AIFVF has embraced experimental, narrative, animation, short-form, feature length and documentary films from every corner of the globe. The Athens International Film + Video Festival is administered by The Athens Center for Film and Video, a project of the College of Fine Arts at Ohio University. This year’s festival takes place October 15-24, 2021, at the historic Athena Cinema in downtown Athens. The full schedule and ticket information is available at www.athensfest.org.
Openings for Alumna Alyssa Miserendino
Sound Circuits Opens in Lisbon
Eufonia is proud to present the second edition of Sound Circuits of Lisbon, taking place between: October 22 – 24, 2021 in the public spaces of Lisbon.
Location for Alyssa Miserendino’s work:
LOCATION ……….…… CALÇADA DE SANTO ANDRÉ 72 & 68
OPENING HOURS ….. 11 AM – 8 PM
This year, 9 sound installations and artistic interventions approach different public spaces, all within a radius of 2 km from Martim Moniz – a cultural crossroads in the heart of Lisbon. Each work of art is original and specific to the location.
+ Jaime Reis, Mariana Vieira e Marta Domingues
+ Adriana Sá & John Klima
+ Júlia Lema Barros
+ Mark Waldron-Hyden
+ William Phoenix Primett
+ Sofia Balbontin
+ Diogo Evangelista
+ Alyssa Miserendino
+ Pedro Castanheira
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Unveils New Mural
To honor the mural created by Alyssa Miserendino for The University of North Carolina At Chapel Hill.
Remarks by Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz
335 S Columbia St, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, United States
MFA Candidate Hugo Ljungbaeck receives multiple Public Humanities Fellowships
MFA Candidate Hugo Ljungbäck has received a Maynard Adams Fellowship for the Public Humanities from Carolina Public Humanities to work on his project tentatively titled “From the Pathé Baby to TikTok: 100 Years of Amateur Media Production.” He has also been awarded the HPG/NHC Humanities Futures Fellowship from the Humanities for the Public Good Initiative to work with the National Humanities Center to expand a local UNC undergraduate humanities mentorship program to liberal arts colleges across the nation. He’s delighted to participate in these fellowship programs, to get to know his cohorts over the next year, and to continue his advocacy for the humanities.
Faculty Member Sabine Gruffat Solo Exhibition at Winthrop University
September 13 – December 10, 2021
Elizabeth Dunlap Patrick Gallery
Artist Talk: 09/27/2021 at 7PM
Sabine Gruffat’s AntiBodies is a virtual reality (VR) artwork and multimedia installation that explores body dysmorphia – a fixation on perceived flaws of one’s body – and gender and race representation in the context of eating disorders and self-image. By making the experience tactile and immediate through video, digital images and virtual reality, AntiBodies conveys the compulsive and anxious nature of body image issues and eating disorders while pointing to ways media and social pressures enforce unhealthy ideals. A French-American artist who was born in Bangkok, Thailand, Gruffat lived internationally in Saudi Arabia and Hong Kong before immigrating to the United States where she is currently a Professor of Digital Art at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
New African Studies Exhibition co-organized by faculty member Victoria Rovine
The African Studies Center presents
Existing in the Shadow
Online Exhibition: October 1-31
Special Event: In Dialogue: Vanessa Tembane & Professor Tanya Shields, Women’s and Gender Studies
Thursday, October 28: 4:30-5:30 pm
Vanessa Tembane (b. 1995) is a South African born artist, with Mozambican heritage, currently based in Johannesburg. Tembane holds a Master of Fine Arts. Tembane works primarily in collage and digital print media. Her work is inspired by her mother’s narratives and explores how they have influenced her identity and sense of belonging. Her collages allow her to merge her photographs that were taken in South Africa with those of her Mozambican relatives and to create strange hybridized composites. The collages combine photographic cut-outs with details of swathes of fabric – capulanas – that were given to Tembane by her grandmother and aunts during occasional visits to Mozambique. Tembane’s collages become a means of telling stories about her origins and what is in some sense an alternative “home” culture, albeit one she mostly experienced indirectly. They enable her to identify with her mother’s country of origin by constructing new imagined memories for herself, and through this, to achieve a sense of belonging.
See BFA student Jason Lord’s work at Attic 506 through 9/25
Senior studio art major Jason Lord participated in a summer residency with Bill Thelen’s Drawing Room NC project at Attic 506. His resulting show, The Indeterminate Geography of Wandering, will open on September 10, 2021 from 6-9 pm and then will be open for viewing from 1-4 pm Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays through September 25. You can learn more about the show, and the Drawing Room NC project at their Instagram account, @drawingroomnc.
Joy Drury Cox late summer 2021 studio update
July 9 – September 18, 2021
Center for Book Arts
28 W 27th Street, 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10001
Curated by Ann Tarantino & Lindsey Lanfried
In the high season of leisure reading and scholastic book challenges, Center for Book Arts presents Summer Reading, an exhibition of works by contemporary artists who take creative approaches to the book, text, and language. In this exhibition, the book is simultaneously complemented and subverted. Artists investigate the tradition of artist’s books as artistic structure, storytelling in visual art, the narrative possibilities of language, and the object-ness of book material in circulation. Including prints, sculptures, and works on paper that explore the design and aesthetics of language, this exhibition celebrates the relationship between reading and making. Summer Reading extends beyond the gallery walls to include featured reading lists culled by the artist participants and associated lending lists for all ages, developed with our local partner libraries.
This group exhibition features works by Breanne Trammell, Cassie Tompkins, Colette Fu, Dan Walsh, Diane Samuels, Erik den Breejen, Jill Moser with Charles Bernstein & Major Jackson, Joy Drury Cox, Lenka Clayton, Lesley Dill, Mary Ellen Bartley, Meg Hitchcock, Michael Mandiberg, Shanti Grumbine, Skye Gilkerson, Tauba Auerbach (Diagonal Press), Travis Head, and Ward Shelley.
Information about the exhibition’s limited edition catalog can be found here.
Launch F18 Magazine: Joy Drury Cox & Erika Mahr in Conversation
In the spring of 2020 Joy Drury Cox, Erika Mahr and Sam Trioli began a conversation that casually carried on throughout the course of nearly a year. Weaving in and out a multitude of events in life and the world at large, the conversation between the three of them captured a moment not only within their own artwork, but the meaning of that work in this moment in time.
Read the conversation in full here.
Faculty member Lien Truong solo show at Davidson College Art Galleries
Congratulations to Associate Professor Liên Trương on her solo painting show at Davidson Art Galleries, open through October 3, 2021.
From the Earth Rise Radiant Beings
Van Every Gallery
On View: August 23, 2021— October 03, 2021
Opening Reception: September 9, 2021, 7:00 pm— 8:30 pm
Related Programs & Events
Liên Trương: Artist Talk
September 9, 2021, 6:00 pm—7:00 pm
Liên Trương: From the Earth Rise Radiant Beings presents recent works by Trương that examine, illuminate, and interrogate notions of heritage and the influences that form belief systems. Exploring these artworks in the current moment—a year and a half marked by illness, death, anxiety, isolation, division, and increasing racial injustices, including recent attacks on Asians, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders—adds another dimension to an already physically and conceptually layered artistic practice tied up in social, cultural, and political histories.
The exhibition presents works from several different series and demonstrates Trương’s ability to expertly weave together various references. The Sky is Not Sacred is a two-part collaboration between Hồng-An Trương and Liên Trương. In the large-scale oil triptych on Arches paper, the red-hued sky, storm clouds, and choppy sea may bring an old adage to mind: “Red sky at night, sailors’ delight; red sky in morning, sailors take warning.” Predating meteorology, the saying is just one of many rhymes, stories, and axioms that combines folklore and science in order to make sense of weather phenomena. A red sky in the morning often indicates high water content in the atmosphere, thus, rain ahead.
The artists are not interested in meteorology per se, but rather in the aesthetic theories and ideologies communicated through the genre of landscape painting. In the related video of the same title, the artists examine clouds and stormy weather in various ways, including as a device of British painter John Constable, known for his extensive study of clouds and the sky, which he believed to be “the chief Organ of sentiment” present across the genre of landscape painting. The Sky is Not Sacred also upends the notion of the sky as a divine space. The two artists instead position the sky as a place of potential disaster and war. In particular, the work highlights weather control techniques used during the American War in Vietnam between March 20, 1967, and July 5, 1972. The United States Air Force used cloud-seeding technology to extend the monsoon season to “make mud, not war,” impeding the transport of North Vietnamese troops and supplies.
Trương’s miniature oil painting series, Translatio Imperii, further positions the sky as a place of war and terror. The title refers to a concept dating from the Middle Ages that espouses a linear succession of dominant civilizations whose power and political legitimacy can be traced back to classical antiquity.
Mounted in ornate vintage frames, the paintings feature idyllic landscapes reminiscent of works by Hudson River School painters who found inspiration in the expansive, untamed American landscape of the mid-19th century. Artists like Thomas Cole and Albert Bierstadt portrayed nature as both awe-inspiring and superable. The title of the series inextricably links the Hudson River School painters to the concept of Manifest Destiny, but Trương’s subject matter—the sites of U.S. military bombings—pushes beyond the confines of American borders and speaks to wider U.S. imperialist strategies. Brass title plates denote specific countries and years of the bombings.
Trương’s landscapes are revealed within painted gestures taken directly from Roy Lichtenstein’s Brushstrokes series, which acknowledges another influential art movement, American Abstract Expressionism. That movement, which came to prominence nearly one hundred years after the Hudson River School, was endorsed by the Central Intelligence Agency during the Cold War in direct opposition to Soviet-sponsored Socialist Realism, thereby promoting American modern art as evidence of U.S. cultural superiority. The deliberate small scale of these paintings represents a questioning both the Western art historical canon to U.S. military dominance.
Trương aims to create a type of Asian Futurism through narratives that simultaneously refer to, reject, and reframe oppressive epistemologies. In her earlier paintings, Trương focused more on landscape, gesture, and materiality, while more recent works incorporate representations of the body.
Both of Trương’s parents spent their youth in Vietnam, under the rule of French Indochina. The landscape in According to the Spectre of Blood and Water is of Đà Lạt, Trương’s mother’s birthplace. Trương’s process—fracturing, combining, and layering the landscape with a mix of canonical Western and Asian paintings techniques, antique Japanese fabrics, painted silk, and, in this particular work, painting of French Monarchs—ties in with her concept, especially the complexity and confusion of identity and heritage, further complicated by war and colonization. Juxtaposing Western and Asian painting techniques, materials, and philosophies also questions the hierarchy of the former over the latter within the art historical canon.
Trương’s incorporation of silk and historical textile designs highlights the worldwide textile trade, a centuries-old, entangled narrative of colonization, migration, and power. But her interest in utilizing textiles, particularly Vietnamese silks such as the kind treasured, worn, and collected by her mother, aunts, and cousins, is also a powerful personal rejection of Orientalist ideologies associated with these materials, particularly those of a sexualized or fetishized nature. Trương notes, “We need to consider that skin, cloth, and ornament can only become interrelated metaphors for personhood when actual personhood is ignored and invisible.”
From the Earth Rise Radiant Beings, from Trương’s newest series of the same name, features landscape imagery of the Philippines. Trương’s focus on the island references the various strategies and acts—moral, ideological, military, and legal—employed by the United States to justify expansion and imperialism. The Philippines became a U.S. territory after the Spanish-American War in 1898. Trương sourced imagery of the locale during World War II, during Japanese occupation and just a few years before independence, to speak to the widespread influence of American policies as related to colonialism, immigration, and citizenship.
While landscape is still a key element of her new works, Trương has shifted her focus to include more figurative elements and, in some cases, depictions of specific people. For example, in From the Earth Rise Radiant Beings, Trương includes the likeness of Teresa Magbanua y Ferraris, a resistance fighter who led troops into battle against the country’s successive colonizers: Spain, the United States, and Japan. Other figures are sourced from Orientalist paintings in which women in particular were portrayed as submissive and sexualized. Painted as silhouettes in a pale yellow hue, Trương’s figures, “born from the violent histories descended from Orientalist ideologies, repudiate their origins…transcending geopolitical and generational boundaries to create narratives of resistance and autonomy.”
All of Trương’s works—well-researched, complex narratives that connect a range of influences from historical and military references, textile designs, art history, Asian and Western painting practices, and personal narrative and experiences, speak to perceived representations of culture and the complications of identity, particularly in relationship to colonialism, imperialism, and war. For works that, at heart, are really about transnational and generational trauma and violence, they are remarkably optimistic. Trương helps us imagine new worlds where from our violent past, strength, resistance, autonomy, and love spring forth and help propel us forward.
Trương was born in Vietnam and emigrated to California when she was just eighteen months old. She earned a BFA from Humboldt State University in Arcata, CA, in 1999, and an MFA from Mills College, Oakland, CA, in 2001. Her work has been included in exhibitions at the National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC; North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, NC; the National Centre for Contemporary Arts, Moscow, Russia; Nha San Collective, Hanoi, Vietnam; and Art Hong Kong; among others. She is the recipient of several awards and honors, including the Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Grant, Whitton Fellowship from the Institute from the Arts and Humanities, and the NC Arts Council Fellowship. Residencies include the Oakland Museum of California and the Marble House Project, Vermont. Truong’s work is in several public collections, including the Linda Lee Alter Collection of Art by Women at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia; DC Collection, Disaphol Chansiri, Chiang Mai, Thailand; North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh; Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, NC; Cameron Art Museum, Wilmington, NC; and the Post Vidai Collection and Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Vietnam.
View the exhibition brochure.
This exhibition and related programs are made possible by the support of the Herb Jackson and Laura Grosch Gallery Endowment and Davidson College Friends of the Arts. Trương has incorporated fractured paintings of Napoleon III, who made the decision for France to invade Vietnam in 1857, which resulted in more than six decades of French rule over Vietnam.
 In developing the Nuremberg Laws, Nazi Germany looked to American tactics such as Jim Crow and the Immigration Act of 1924, which imposed national quotas and barred most Asian people from entering the U.S. Indigenous groups and Filipinos, among others, were designated as non-citizens, even though they were from the U.S. or its territories. Passed in 1935 by the Nazi Party, the Nuremberg Laws stripped citizenship from Germans with three or more Jewish grandparents and reclassified them as “subjects” of the state, among other things.
PhD Alumnus Michael Yonan helps inaugurate new journal Materia
Ph.D. alumnus Michael Yonan is one of the first contributing scholars to the new digital journal, Materia: Journal of Technical Art History. This biannual publication provides an online, open-access platform devoted to the technical study of art objects. Bringing together the disciplines of conservation, conservation science, art history, and related fields, Materia is among the first peer-reviewed publications dedicated solely to this steadily growing field of interdisciplinary research. You can start your first dive into reading Materia with Michael’s article, “Technical Art History and the Art Historical Thing.” Michael is Alan Templeton Endowed Professor of European Art 1600–1830 at the University of California, Davis.