SMALL REVOLUTIONS – Spring 2017 Wiesenfeld Visiting Artist Lecture Series

small revolutions

The UC Berkeley Department of Art Practice
Wiesenfeld Visiting Artist Lecture Series
Spring 2017


There’s much talk in the air from both sides of the political spectrum about “revolution.” In the Department of Art Practice, we are examining what it means for artists to “revolve” around a complex of ideas and practices, how we change and act upon these, and how these “small revolutions” extend outwards. Each lecture this semester will visit some of these urgent questions of how to think, be, and act in the contemporary world.

jackie sumell
Monday, March 13, 6:30pm
BAMPFA (Berkeley Art Museum)

jackie sumell is a New Orleans-based multidisciplinary artist and activist whose work interrogates the abuses of the American criminal justice system. She is best known for her collaborative project with Angola 3 member Herman Wallace entitled Herman’s House/The House that Herman Built (2006–present), a multifaceted project that uses architectural drawings, digital and built models, text, photographs, correspondence, and lectures to explore the practice of solitary confinement in US prisons. She has produced numerous public installations engaging questions of social justice, community, and race, including her recent Solitary Gardens project. She is a recipient of numerous fellowships and awards including, in 2013, the Soros Justice Fellowship and, in 2016, the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Artist as Activist Award.

This talk is co-sponsored by The Black Room, the English Department, and the Townsend Center for the Humanities at UC Berkeley.

Mark Brest Van Kempen
Monday, April 10, 7pm
20 Barrows Hall

Oakland, California-based visual artist Mark Brest van Kempen’s award-winning public art projects, exhibitions and performances recreate and reveal our complex relationship with the landscape. His “Free Speech Monument” is a public artwork located at UC Berkeley’s Sproul Plaza in which a six inch column of land and airspace are legally rede ned as not being a part of any nation, state or city therefore no laws are applicable within the small space. This challenging artwork has been activated for gatherings and public protests alike, becoming a living memorial for a concept frought with negotiation and contestation.

Ashley Hunt
Monday, April 17, 7pm
285 Kroeber Hall

Artist and activist Ashley Hunt uses video, photography, mapping and writing to engage social movements, modes of learning and public discourse. Among his interests are structures that allow people to accumulate power and those which keep others from getting power, while learning from the ways people come to know, respond to and conceive of themselves within these structures. This has included investigations into the prison system, the demise of welfare state institutions, war and disaster capitalism, documentary representations and political activism. He is the Director of the Program in Photography and New Media at CalArts.

Jose Joaquin Figueroa
Awardee of the Sam Francis Fellowship for the 2016 Headlands Residency
Monday, April 24, 7pm
285 Kroeber Hall

Caracas-born multi-disciplinary artist Jose Joaquin Figueroa states, “My work systematically chronicles my complex identity, with the goal of deconstructing basic epistemological categories that separate the aesthetic from the everyday, the sacred from the profane. I look at the repetitive gestures embedded in folklore, religion and ideology through various means of expression from painting, ceramics, photography, video and performance to interviews, collaborations, texts, relics and ready-mades. I position myself as a shaman who seeks to unveil the masks of history.” He received his MFA in Art Practice from UC Berkeley in 2016.

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Since 1998, The UC Berkeley Department of Art Practice Wiesenfeld Visiting Artist Lecture Series has provided an opportunity for students and members of the community to learn about the work of renowned contemporary artists from the local, national, and international arts community.

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