On view through March 25, 2017
Main Level, East Gallery
Curated by Amy L. Powell, Curator of Modern & Contemporary Art
Co-presented by Krannert Art Museum and Blaffer Art Museum at the University of Houston
This exhibition is the first solo museum presentation of works by British-Nigerian video artist and filmmaker Zina Saro-Wiwa, featuring video installations, photographs, and a sound installation produced in the Niger Delta region of southeastern Nigeria from 2013 to 2015. Drawing upon folklore, masquerade traditions, religious practices, food and Nigerian popular aesthetics, Saro-Wiwa’s work shuttles between documentary and performance, testing art’s capacity to transform and to envision new concepts of environment and environmentalism.
Engaging Niger Delta residents both as subjects and collaborators, Saro-Wiwa cultivates strategies of psychic survival and performance, underscoring the complex and expressive ways in which people live in an area historically fraught with the politics of energy, labor and land. Known for decades for corruption and environmental degradation, the Niger Delta is also a verdant place, an abundant food producer as well as provider of crude oil and natural gas to the entire globe. The United States has until recent years been the largest importer of Nigeria’s oil, while Europe and India are now the top destinations. Returning to this contested region—the place of her birth—Saro-Wiwa insinuates herself as a transformative force ingesting and disgorging the stuff of tradition and of psycho-social dynamics to produce new origin narratives. Her new work makes visible the cultural, spiritual and emotional powers propelling the Niger Delta and its connections as a global energy capital.
The exhibition and catalogue are made possible by the generous support of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. For this presentation, sponsorship was provided in part by the Krannert Art Museum Council. The exhibition is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.
On view through February 11, 2017
Main Level, West Gallery
Co-curated by Maureen Warren, Curator of European and American Art and Anna Chen, Rare Book & Manuscript Library Curator
Both before and after the advent of movable type in Europe, circa 1450, artists created hand-drawn and hand-embellished scrolls, books, and maps. In Western Europe during the Middle Ages, manuscript ornamentation became a flourishing art form, enriching secular and sacred items alike. Making and Breaking Medieval Manuscripts brings together a selection of works that are owned in whole or in part by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, including items housed at the Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Krannert Art Museum, Spurlock Museum of World Cultures, and the Newberry Library in Chicago. The exhibition showcases Western European manuscripts from the thirteenth to the sixteenth centuries and examines issues associated with the production of illuminations and other decorations, patronage, owner additions and modifications, the impact of printing technologies, the reuse of parchment, book breaking, and the legacy of the self-professed “biblioclast” Otto F. Ege.
Blue Star Contemporary
San Antonio, TX
Courtesy of Borderland Collective and Blue Star Contemporary