February 27, 2:30pm
Fishbowl, Fine Arts Building Room 301
1000 W Broad St
Richmond, VA 23284
Alex Kitnick is Assistant Professor of Art History and Visual Culture at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York. His writing has appeared in publications ranging from October to May. Recently he curated an exhibition called The Critic at Matthew Marks Gallery.
Kitnick will talk about normalcy. He says, “After 2016 I started noticing that there was a lot of talk around the normal in political discourse. This had started some time before in other contexts–there was talk of “new normals” in regards to the weather, for example; also, normcore in fashion–but it took on a new valence after Trump’s election. Some spoke of normalization while others insisted that “this is not normal.” I started wondering what art might have to say about these questions; it struck me that much art of the 1980s–what we often describe as appropriation art–was deeply involved with ideas of the normal both in its subject matter as well as in its presentation and display. I’m currently trying to write a small book about this idea, which touches on artists including Richard Prince, Sue Williams, Glenn Ligon, Mike Kelley, General Idea, and others. My idea is that artists, while often thought to be involved in subverting norms, often help articulate and establish them. They often try to make “new normals,” and intriguingly, frequently use old modes and established conventions to do so.”