April 13, 2016

Lines of Flight

Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery at Columbia University

Lida Abdul, Once Upon Awakening (video still, detail), 2006. Courtesy the artist and Anna Schwartz Gallery.

Lines of Flight presents three related projects: two exhibitions and one podcast series. Each contribution investigates points of rupture within current discourses and proposes intersections between the art historical, the political, and the educational in order to provoke previously unexamined links between art and the world in which we live.

The “line of flight” as developed by Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari represents the potential for new linkages across existing boundaries. Lines of flight are posed against static forms and structures, creating both disruption and connection in a constant process of evolution. As a framework, the line of flight unites the exhibition’s sections through a general mode of inquiry that embraces the potential and the provisional.

Organized by David Crane, Life Serial presents work by artists who utilize various methods of serial production. Characterized by conceptual systems, modularity, and geometric formulas, seriality has often been used as a way to eliminate the psychological and physical traces of the artist from their objects, often resulting in work cut off from social and political concerns. Against this grain, Life Serial brings together diverse artists who use serial methods to posit a new form of subjectivity as a means to explore issues of race, sexuality, history, and the body. The artists include Bethany Collins, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Wade Guyton, Leslie Hewitt, Ragnar Kjartansson, Emily Kloppenburg, and Glenn Ligon.

Contemporary Ruins: Resistance to the Spectacular Image, curated by Leah Hartman, features artists who engage with the aestheticization of cultural heritage destruction and its reception by the global media. The long and continuing history of attacks on culture are tied together by immutable and complex connections between art, culture, power, and politics. The works presented in Contemporary Ruins respond to the spectacular nature of modern iconoclastic imagery, prompting us to consider more closely where mediated images of violence and destruction fall within the intersection of art, propoganda, and documentary. Artists include Lida Abdul, Kader Attia, Tammam Azzam, Wafaa Bilal, Rokni Haerizadeh, and Yujin Lee.

The educational podcast series, “Lines in Real Time,” organized by Kat Cohn searches for alternative pedagogical practices in the arts. Three main episodes address the ethics of display, types of dialogue surrounding art, and audience engagement with works in progress. A supplemental episode examines historical themes in progressive education and pedagogical theory that contextualize the other episodes and consider K–12 audiences.

Lines of Flight is the fourth presentation of the MODA Curates series—an annual opportunity offered by The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery and the MA in Modern Art: Critical and Curatorial Studies Program (MODA) for outstanding curatorial proposals related to students’ theses.

Tour with the curators
Exhibition curators will lead visitors in a personal walk through the exhibition.
Wednesday, April 27, 5–6pm

For more information, please visit our website.


About The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery advances Columbia University’s historical, critical, and creative engagement with the visual arts. Serving as both a laboratory and a forum, The Wallach Art Gallery offers opportunities for curatorial practice and discourse, while bridging the diverse approaches to the arts at the University with a welcome broader public.

Established in 1986, The Wallach Art Gallery is the University’s premier visual arts space. We are a platform for critically acclaimed exhibitions, a dynamic range of programming, and publications that contribute to scholarship.

In spring 2017, The Wallach Art Gallery will expand its space, ambition and reach when it moves into The Lenfest Center for the Arts, a new state-of-the-art complex rising on Columbia’s Manhattanville campus. Designed by Renzo Piano Building Workshop, the five-floor, 53,000 square-foot structure stands prominently on a small public plaza on West 125th Street between Broadway and 12th Avenue, just west of the Jerome L. Greene Science Center. The Lenfest Center for the Arts will also include a screening room, a flexible theatre and a sky-lit hall for educational and public activities.

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