April Lectures by Clark Fellows

For Immediate Release

March 16, 2009

Since its inception in 2000, the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute’s Research and Academic Program has earned an international reputation as a foremost center for advancing the study of visual arts and for educating the next generation of art historians, professors, and museum directors and curators. The program engages the world’s most creative and innovative visual arts scholars, from Clark Fellows who travel to Williamstown from throughout the world to pursue their research while in residence at the Clark, to prominent participants in pioneering international research collaborations. Lectures by Clark Fellows are free.

April 7, 5:30 pm - Lecture by Clark Fellow Jill Bennett: “Practical Aesthetics”

Jill Bennett is associate dean and director of the Centre for Contemporary Art and Politics in the College of Fine Arts at the University of New South Wales. Her latest book, Empathic Vision: Affect, Trauma, and Contemporary Art (2005), is a theoretical analysis of art dealing with trauma and conflict from places such as Northern Ireland, South Africa, Colombia, and indigenous Australia. She has co-curated several exhibitions at the Centre, including African Marketplace (2002) and Prepossession (2005). Her Clark project is “practical aesthetics” through a study of art’s relationship to real events. She will analyze the event as an aesthetic entity, focusing on perceptual and affective relationships, to demonstrate the practical value of aesthetic inquiry.

April 21, 5:30 pm - Lecture by Clark Fellow Piotr Piotrowski: “New Museums in East-Central Europe: Between Traumaphobia and Traumaphilia”

Piotr Piotrowski is professor ordinarius of art history and chair of the Institute of Art History at Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan, Poland. He is the author of many books, articles, and chapters on eastern European modernism and contemporary art, including Metafizyka obrazu (The Metaphysics of the Picture: On the Art Theory and Artistic Attitude of S.I.Witkiewicz) (1985), Znaczenia modernizmu: W strone historii sztuki polskiej po 1945 roku (Meanings of Modernism: Towards a History of Polish Art after 1945) (1999). His Clark project, entitled New Art - New Democracy, is a book project that aims at the analysis of the relationship between art and politics in post-communist Europe on such levels as gender, historical memory, and the analysis of new institutions.

April 28, 5:30 pm - Lecture by Clark Fellow Aamir Mufti: “Toward an Understanding of Iconographies of Dispossession”

Aamir Mufti is associate professor of comparative literature at the University of California, Los Angeles. His academic training is in literature and anthropology, and his areas of specialization include colonial and postcolonial literatures, with a primary focus on India and Britain, and 19th- and 20th-century Urdu literature in particular; Marxism and aesthetics; Frankfurt School critical theory; minority cultures; and the history of anthropology. He is the author of Enlightenment in the Colony: The Jewish Question and the Crisis of Postcolonial Culture (2007) and co-editor of Dangerous Liaisons: Gender, Nation, and Postcolonial Perspectives (1997). His work has appeared in such periodicals as Social Text, Critical Inquiry, Subaltern Studies, boundary 2, and the Village Voice. His Clark-Oakley project undertakes a new understanding of the artistic representation of India's partition in comparative and global terms. The focus will be on the work of Zarina, a New York-based printmaker.

The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute has announced 17 Clark Fellows for the 2008-2009 academic year. Clark fellowships are awarded to national and international scholars, critics, and museum professionals whose work extends and enhances the understanding of the visual arts and their role in culture. The program encourages a critical commitment to research in the theory, history, and interpretation of works from all periods and genres.

The Clark is one of the country’s foremost art museums, as well as a dynamic center for research and higher education in art history and criticism with an international fellowship program; regular conferences, symposia, and colloquia; and an important art research library. The Clark, together with Williams College, jointly sponsors one of the nation’s leading M.A. programs in art history, which has been part of the professional development of a significant number of art museum directors, curators, and scholars.

The Clark is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, MA. The galleries are open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm (open daily in July and August). Admission is free November through May. Admission June 1 through October 31 is $12.50 for adults, free for children 18 and under, members, and students with valid ID. For more information, call 413-458-2303 or visit www.clarkart.edu.


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