Dead Lecturer / distant relative: Notes from the Woodshed 1950-1980: Curated by Genji Amino. Wallach Art Gallery, Columbia University, New York
Dead Lecturer / distant relative: Notes from the Woodshed, 1950-1980 focuses on works by Asian American and African American artists whose approaches to abstraction provided alternatives to prevailing vocabularies for representation and resistance during the social movements of the 1960s and 70s, and for whom the parameters of visibility continue to remain a problem for thought today.
Dead Lecturer / distant relative gathers an archive of visual art and poetics to pose questions about the relationship between loss and kinship, between history and memory, and between race and abstraction. How do we recall the voices of those for whom art history has never represented either a reliable record or the proper horizon of address? How do we share the news of an archive of experiment whose relationship to the contemporary continues to be compromised by an ongoing history of racial violence and colonial enterprise? What forms of intimacy, address and refusal have yet to be imagined in and through this archive that exceed the prevailing art historical vocabularies for modernism, innovation, and abstraction?
The exhibition draws its title from three works that testify to the constitutive loss and irreducible experiment which conventional art histories neither reliably receive nor record: poet LeRoi Jones/Amiri Baraka’s 1964 collection The Dead Lecturer, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha’s 1977 artists’ book audience/distant relative, and painter Jack Whitten’s posthumous collection of writings, Notes from the Woodshed (2018).
ARTISTS IN THE EXHIBITION
Theresa Hak Kyung Cha
Ching Ho Cheng
Sarah Webster Fabio
Lawson Fusao Inada
LeRoi Jones/Amiri Baraka
Jerry Tsukio Okimoto
José García Villa