This hybrid event is free and open to the public.
What do we hold in Common? Explorations of Local and Global Notions of Community
Noah Simblist: Associate Professor of Painting + Printmaking
Explorations of Local and Global Notions of Community: This presentation will examine recent projects that address different definitions of community, including “Tania Bruguera: The Francis Effect.” This book is about the noted Cuban artist/activist’s project in which Bruguera requests that the pope grants Vatican City citizenship to all immigrants and refugees. The icon of Bruguera’s project was the Pangea, a symbol of the world that becomes one land mass where the borders between nation states are blurred.
In addition, Simblist will discuss “Commonwealth,” an exhibition at the Institute for Contemporary Art at VCU that investigated the history, utopian potential and limitations of a term often taken for granted. The idea of the ‘commonwealth’ originated in England in the 15th Century as a term meaning the common good such as water or grazing communally managed land. The founders of the U.S. (including Virginia) appropriated the word to signal its new revolutionary political structure was predicated on the notion that the state was a resource for the common good.
Finally, Simblist will discuss “Conjunctions and Disjunctions,” a group exhibition at Black Ground – a cultural space dedicated to the African diaspora in Cali, Colombia. This exhibition provoked questions regarding the similarities and differences between African-American and Afro-Colombian identities.
This hybrid event is free and open to the public. The in-person lecture will be held a the ICA auditorium.
Noah Simblist has worked as a curator, writer and artist, focusing on how contemporary artists address history and the tensions between political forces and self-determination. Recent editing projects include Tania Bruguera: The Francis Effect, co-editing Commonwealth and Artist in Residence. He has also contributed to Art in America, Art Agenda, Art Journal, Terremoto and other publications. Additional curatorial projects include Aissa Deebi: Exile is Hard Work at Birzeit University Museum in Palestine, False Flags at Pelican Bomb in New Orleans, and Emergency Measures at the Power Station in Dallas. He is an associate professor and former chair of Painting + Printmaking at VCUarts.
Previous lectures in the series may be viewed here.