Katarina Burin to Present Lecture, Monday, February 15th

Through support from the College of Architecture and Design and the UTK Printmaking Program, Katarina Burin will come to the University of Tennessee, Knoxville for a public lecture and collaborative print project.

Her lecture “Contribution and Collaboration: The Work of Petra Andrejova-Molnár and her Contemporaries” will be presented on Monday February 15th at 5:30pm in the Bruce McCarty Auditorium, room 109 in the Art and Architecture Building.  The lecture is free and open to the public.

Katarina Burin is a lecturer at Harvard University in The Department of Visual and Environmental Studies (VES). Born in Bratislava, Slovakia, Burin received her MFA in from Yale University (2002) and her BFA from the University of Georgia (1999). Her work investigates the representation and display of architectural histories, including the invention of an early-20th century architect named Petra Andrejova-Molnár. In 2013, she was awarded the prestigious James and Audrey Foster Prize at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston. Her recent solo projects include exhibitions at Kunstverein Langenhagen, Akademie Schloss Solitude (Stuttgart) and P! (New York), along with gallery exhibitions at Ratio 3 (San Francisco), M29 Richter & Brückner (Cologne) and Lucile Corty (Paris).

Burin’s lecture presents a biographical narrative about the education and design work of Petra Andrejova-Molnár, a pioneering architect of the modern, post-war European style in the Hungarian and Czechoslovak Republics. The lecture positions Andrejova-Molnár in relation to mid-20th century female architects Charlotte Perriand and Eileen Grey, and assets that she is an important, but overlooked figure active in the first half of the twentieth century. Burin illustrates the lecture with architectural drawings, furniture, design objects, photographs, and texts. Despite it apparent authenticity, Andrejova-Molnár’s life and work was fabricated by Burin, and the project gives voice to female designers while also questioning notions of authorship and authenticity, the relationship between gender and the archive, and the historical tension between national identity and internationalist aspirations. Burin’s project highlights the ways in which historical movements and utopian ideologies are complicated and contradictory formations in a constant state of flux, while also creating a space of play around the mythos of “the architect.”

In conjunction with her visit, selections from her project “Hotel Nord-Sud” is presented Gallery 103 in the Art and Architecture Building from February 8-27. During her week-long visit, Burin will also work in the UTK Print Workshop on a limited edition print.

Web Resources on Katarina Burin:
• http://grahamfoundation.org/grantees/5135-petra-andrejova-molnar-room-for-a-modern-engineer-czechoslovakian-pavilion-paris-1925 
• http://www.andreasgrimmgallery.com/exhibitions/past/210
• http://www.ves.fas.harvard.edu/burin.html


Lokeilani Kaimana to Speak, February 1

The first CAAS meeting of the new semester will be February 1. We will welcome gifted junior scholar, Lokeilani Kaimana, who works at the University of Texas in Austin in the areas of queer cinema and media lineages, contemporary screen theory, queer-of-color critique, and the contingencies of race, embodiment, and screen images.

This particular meeting will follow a unique format to take full advantage of her visit. First will be a readings discussion open specifically to CAAS, from 3:00-3:30 in McClung 1210-11.  We will look at Kevin Everod Quashie’s “The Trouble with Publicness: Toward a Theory of Black Quiet” and Fred Moten’s “Resistance of the Object: Aunt Hester’s Scream” and “Resistance of the Object: Adrian Piper’s Theatricality” (check your email for access to these readings).

From 3:45-5:00, Kaimana will deliver a lecture titled “Conscious Quiet: Modalities of Pause in Black Visual Culture.” This lecture will also take place in McClung 1210-11, and will be open to a broader audience of faculty, grad students, or interested undergraduates.

Check out the attached poster for further details, and feel free to distribute to those who might be interested. See you there!

Reyhan Şahin Delivers Talk, Jan. 14

The German Studies Lecture Series will have its first talk of the year January 14, 1:00-2:30 in Hodges Library, Lindsay Young Auditorium. Reyhan Şahin will deliver a lecture titled “Strategies of Virtual Empowerment: Muslim University Students on Facebook.” A short description of the talk is below, and a poster for the event is attached.

In the past five years, an active scene of young Muslim activists has formed in and around German universities. These activists are part of anti-racist or people of color-networks, in which visibility, activity, and communication on social networks plays a big role. Members include university students, political activists, journalists, artists (like rappers), poetry slammers and comic-strip artists, who understand themselves as part of Ummah (arab. Islamic community as a unity).This talk gives examples of the linguistic and visual strategies these activists use to analyze the role of religion and religiosity and to show how Muslim women express their emancipatory orientations /attitudes and empower each other. Two contemporary examples from Germany illustrate these strategies: debates about the headscarf and the “battle” between two feminist movements, Femen und MuslimaPride.

Event Poster

Congratulations to Daniel Magilow

Daniel Magilow was the recent winner of one of the Research and Creative Achievement Awards in the Mid-Career category at this year’s Winter Convocation of the UTK College of Arts and Sciences. This award was given in recognition of Professor Magilow’s ongoing research into Holocaust Studies and Visual Studies. Congratulations to Professor Magilow!


Daniel Magilow pictured top row, fifth from right.

Next Meeting Monday, December 7

Our next meeting will be December 7, 3:30-5:00 in Melrose. We will be discussing our reading of Sianne Ngai’s Our Aesthetic Categories: Zany, Cute, Interesting.

From the Harvard University Press:

The zany, the cute, and the interesting saturate postmodern culture. They dominate the look of its art and commodities as well as our discourse about the ambivalent feelings these objects often inspire. In this radiant study, Sianne Ngai offers a theory of the aesthetic categories that most people use to process the hypercommodified, mass-mediated, performance-driven world of late capitalism, treating them with the same seriousness philosophers have reserved for analysis of the beautiful and the sublime.

Ngai explores how each of these aesthetic categories expresses conflicting feelings that connect to the ways in which postmodern subjects work, exchange, and consume. As a style of performing that takes the form of affective labor, the zany is bound up with production and engages our playfulness and our sense of desperation. The interesting is tied to the circulation of discourse and inspires interest but also boredom. The cute’s involvement with consumption brings out feelings of tenderness and aggression simultaneously. At the deepest level, Ngai argues, these equivocal categories are about our complex relationship to performing, information, and commodities.

Through readings of Adorno, Schlegel, and Nietzsche alongside cultural artifacts ranging from Bob Perelman’s poetry to Ed Ruscha’s photography books to the situation comedy of Lucille Ball, Ngai shows how these everyday aesthetic categories also provide traction to classic problems in aesthetic theory. The zany, cute, and interesting are not postmodernity’s only meaningful aesthetic categories, Ngai argues, but the ones best suited for grasping the radical transformation of aesthetic experience and discourse under its conditions.

Hope to see you there!

three carbon tons, Featuring Jered Sprecher, Opens This Weekend.

Michael Jones McKeanJered Sprecher

Zeitgeist Gallery is pleased to announce three carbon tons, a two-person show with Jered Sprecher and Michael Jones McKean. Sprecher’s paintings and McKean’s sculptures both assume time as an elastic and cyclical entity. In both artist’s work, out-of-time and present day technologies intertwine in alchemic transmutations of images and forms, cycling through combustion, exchange, conductivity. Forms and images degrade to re-materialize as others, congealing momentarily as only the latest composition of energy matter generated by geologic, evolutionary, or human-made processes.

McKean presents a triptych composed of large, wall-mounted solar panels fixed with images of black objects each printed on perforated UV-resistant window vinyl. The objects ranging in form, time-scale and function are each haloed with a hand-painted border of fluorescent SeaMarker rescue dye. Nearby, rests four floor sculptures, each a meticulously carved laptop computer of varying vintage. Each computer is seeded with wood from ancient bristlecone pine trees – an object among the oldest living things on the planet resulting in a two-way sculptural gene splice. In another work, a classic Hudson’s Bay blanket carved from thermal insulation embeds a ubiquitous laptop computer charger; hidden inside the blanket’s core, 200 grams of silver provides the work’s amniotic center. The blanket is literally folded, and folding together two technologies – one modern, designed to transmit and transmute energy; and one ancient, designed to trap and transfer heat – to form an intra-generational battery, both harnessing and storing potential energies and commercial branding. In these works, energy and matter don’t begin or end, but reconfigure.

Sprecher sites combustion as both the beginning and end simultaneously: the catalyst for the transfer of energy from one entity to the next. Photomechanical images of nature and natural phenomena are the starting point for the body of work present in this exhibition. In the paintings, Way and Ember, a single stock photo of two nesting seagulls and a young chick are the source material from which each painting begins. Through the process of painting, this photo is merged with optical patterning, digital color, haptic gestures, and dissolving transparencies. As a result, the image both is and is no more; now and not yet. Works in the exhibition derive from photos of seagulls, fires, diamonds, moths, and trees. This source material is present at the beginning of a painting and then transmuted in the “combustion” of the image. The paintings on view act as a frozen frame, catching a still moment within a process of perpetual metamorphosis and exchange.


Rita Felski to Visit Campus this Thursday/Friday

Rita Felski will be on campus Thursday and Friday, November 5 and 6, as part of the English Department’s Literature, Criticism, and Textual Studies Speaker Series.

On Thursday, November 5 at 3:30pm in McClung Tower 1210, Professor Felski will lecture on “Attachment Theory.”  Drawing on arguments from Bruno Latour and Antoine Hennion and an essay by Zadie Smith, her lecture will explore forms of aesthetic attachment.  How and why do we become attached to works of art, and how might “attachment theory” help us make sense of this process?

On Friday, November 6, from noon to 2pm in 1210, Professor Felski will lead a discussion of her most recent book, The Limits of Critique, just published last week by the University of Chicago Press (excerpts available).  All interested faculty and graduate students are encouraged to attend.

Rita Felski is the William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of English at the University of Virginia and the editor of New Literary History.  Her many publications include The Gender of Modernity (Harvard UP, 1995), Doing Time: Feminist Theory and Postmodern Culture (New York UP, 2000), and Uses of Literature (Wiley-Blackwell, 2008).  We’re delighted to have her visit.

Email Ben Lee (blee15@utk.edu) if you any questions at all, and please consider joining us for one or both of these events.

Daniel Magilow Presents Work in Progress to CAAS

Our next meeting will be Monday, November 2nd, at 3:30. Daniel Magilow will present from a work in progress, titled “Beyond the Mimetic Imperative: Recent Trends in Holocaust Film.”

Dr. Magilow is a recent (May 2015) Quest Scholar of the Week, and his most recent work is a co-authored book, titled Holocaust Representations in History: An Introduction. From his UTK bio:

Dr. Magilow’s research interests include Holocaust Studies, Weimar Germany, and the History of Photography. He is the author, editor, and translator of several books, including The Photography of Crisis: The Photo Essays of Weimar Germany (The Pennylvania State University Press, 2012), Nazisploitation!: The Nazi Image in Low-Brow Culture and Cinema (co-edited with Elizabeth Bridges and Kristin T. Vander Lugt, Continuum Books, 2011) and In Her Father’s Eyes: A Childhood Extinguished by the Holocaust (Rutgers University Press, 2008). He has also published several articles about atrocity photography, Holocaust memorials, exile literature, and German film. He serves as the Book Review Editor and Managing Editor of the Journal of Jewish Identities.

Dr. Magilow has received several awards and grants for his work, notably a DAAD Research Grant in 1999-2000, a teaching award from the Association of Princeton Graduate Alumni, multiple grants from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, a “Best Article of the Year” Award from the American Association of Teachers of German, and in 2009, The University of Tennessee Chancellor’s Award for Professional Promise in Research and Creative Achievement.

Refreshments will be provided. See you there!