August 29, 2018

Catherine Wagner
Archæology in Reverse

Mills College Art Museum

Catherine Wagner, Archæology in Reverse I, 2018. Chromogenic print.

Mills College Art Museum is pleased to announce Archæology in Reverse, a series of new immersive site-specific installations and photographs developed by Catherine Wagner. Working with architecture practice modem (Nicholas de Monchaux and Kathryn Moll) Archæology in Reverse highlights the extraordinary architectural space of the Museum through sculptural installations, site-specific interventions, photographs, and documentation of site-specific choreography by Molissa Fenley realized on video by Michael Mersereau. Focused on the intellectual and physical frame of the art museum, Catherine Wagner’s ambitious project exposes normally unseen corners of Mills College Art Museum (MCAM). Wagner’s previous photographic and public art works reveal architecture as a source of social construction, particularly in museums where architecture frames and guides how visitors see and interact with objects that inhabit the space. Refocusing the attention and experience of the viewer, Archæology in Reverse explores the museum as a cultural, social, and experiential lens.

For over forty years Wagner, has challenged traditional ways of viewing by collapsing temporal boundaries, museum conventions, display methods, and how we understand the past and share knowledge across time. At its core, Wagner’s work changes the way we see and examines how institutions relate to their audiences and their communities.

About the artists

Catherine Wagner
Catherine Wagner is the Nancy Cook Chair of Photography at Mills College, where she has been a professor of studio art since 1979. She has exhibited extensively nationally and internationally, and her work is represented in major collections, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Whitney Museum of American Art, Museum of Modern Art, and Museum of Fine Art Houston. Her published monographs include American Classroom, Art & Science: Investigating Matter, Cross Sections, and In Situ: Traces of Morandi. She has received major awards, including the Visual Arts Fellowship from the San Jose Museum of Art, a Guggenheim Fellowship, NEA fellowships, and the Rome Prize. Wagner has also created site-specific public artwork for the City of San Francisco, University of California San Francisco Medical School, and the City of Los Angeles.

modem: Nicholas de Monchaux + Kathryn Moll
modem is an interdisciplinary practice with experience in software, architecture, urban design, and digital fabrication. It uses radical and traditional architectural tools to transform objects, environments, and urban situations in order to strengthen and improve connections between buildings, cities, and ecologies.

Molissa Fenley
Molissa Fenley is a choreographer, performer, and teacher of contemporary dance. She founded her company in 1977 and has created over 80 dance works. Her work has been commissioned by the American Dance Festival, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Dia Art Foundation, Jacob’s Pillow, The Joyce Theater, and Lincoln Center. She has received numerous awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, and she is a Fellow of the American Academy in Rome. Fenley graduated from Mills College in 1975 with a BA in Dance, where she is now the Danforth Professor of Dance.

Catherine Wagner: Archæology in Reverse is supported through the generosity of the Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation. The publication is supported by the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts.

Public programs
Visit for details.

Opening: Archaeology in Reverse
Saturday, September 8, 5–7pm
Mills College Art Museum

Laws of Reflection: How Architecture Becomes Aperture
Thursday, September 27, 7–8pm (reception 6:30–7pm)
Mills College Art Museum

Aebhric Coleman, Director of the Kramlich Collection, will discuss the intersections of photography and architectural design with Catherine Wagner and architectural practice modem (Nicholas de Monchaux + Kathryn Moll).

Artist talk: Catherine Wagner
Wednesday, October 10, 7–9pm
Danforth Lecture Hall

Catherine Wagner will revisit 40 years of her work as a photographer mining the built environment.

Thank you!

An email with a confirmation link has been sent to the email address you entered. To complete your subscription, click this link.