Borderland Collective: Northern Triangle
August 26–December 22, 2016
Organized by Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum, San Antonio, TX
Curated locally by Amy L. Powell, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art
Installation by Borderland Collective, led by artists Jason Reed and Mark Menjibar and art historian Erina Duganne
Zina Saro-Wiwa: Did You Know We Taught Them How to Dance?
November 11, 2016–March 25, 2017
Curated by Amy L. Powell, Curator of Modern and 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.
An accompanying catalogue features recipe-stories by Saro-Wiwa alongside essays by curator Amy L. Powell, environmental cultural studies scholar Stephanie LeMenager, and writer Taiye Selasi, with a conversation between the artist and art historian Chika Okeke-Agulu. Niger Delta historian Ebiegberi Joe Alagoa contributes a guest foreword. 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.
Making and Breaking Medieval Manuscripts
November 11–February 11, 2016
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.
School of Art + Design Faculty Exhibition
November11–December 22, 2016
The annual exhibition highlights new work produced by the School of Art + Design faculty, ranging from paintings and sculpture to graphic design and new media. This show provides the community with an opportunity to view work by the school’s world-class artists and designers and to explore the collaborative relationship between the School of Art + Design and Krannert Art Museum.
Krannert Art Museum
Photo by Kathryn Koca Polite