March 14, 2018

Unwilling: Exercises in Melancholy

Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery at Haverford College

Noa Giniger, The Sorrow the Joy Brings, 2012. Collage from steel engraving (Napoleons Grab, 1838). 16.5 x 21 cm. Courtesy of the artist.

Artist roundtable: March 22, 4:30–6pm
With Noa Giniger, Mike Bourscheid, Justine A. Chambers, and Ginger Brooks Takahashi
VCAM 201, Haverford College

ten thousand times and one hundred more: March 23, 10am–4:30pm
Campus-wide itinerant performance by Justine A. Chambers
Starts at Whitehead Campus Center, Haverford College

Curators' talk & opening: March 23, 4:30–7:30pm

Unwilling: Exercises in Melancholy proposes a re-consideration of melancholia defined through our contemporary condition. Resisting the historical definition of melancholy as an affliction that creates disorder or inactivity, this exhibition reimagines passive sadness as powerful refusal, a conscious (or unconscious) “standing aside,” a willful production of generative failures and resistant potencies. Each of the contributing artists begins with the idea that outside the boundaries of “contentment” resides a potent flourishing. Unwilling is a resistance and a proposition: it responds to the profound cultural reckoning we are witnessing at this moment in time, as the boundaries and exclusions of state-defined citizenship become increasingly fraught. The exhibition asserts that sadness might be a defining aspect of an active and resistant subject, and proposes that the future, if it is to hold us at all, must address this subject head on.

Unwilling: Exercises in Melancholy is curated by Vanessa Kwan and Kimberly Phillips, and is made possible with support from the John B. Hurford ’60 Center for the Arts and Humanities. The exhibition is organized in conjunction with the Hurford Center’s 2017–18 Faculty Seminar “The Arts of Melancholy” led by Richard Freedman (Music).

Unwilling: Exercises in Melancholy is accompanied by a publication designed by Information Office, featuring contributions from Billy-Ray Belcourt, Marilyn Boltz, Mike Bourscheid, Justine A. Chambers, Richard Freedman, Andrew Friedman, Noa Giniger, Christina Knight, Vanessa Kwan, Kimberly Phillips, Erin Schoneveld, Aniko Szucs, Ginger Brooks Takahashi, and Joel Yurdin.

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