Announcement
October 26, 2020

Election day programs

Weisman Art Museum at University of Minnesota

Love Vote Rise voter drive. Courtesy of Love Vote Rise.

Tali Keren, The Great Seal, 2017. Courtesy of the artist and Weisman Art Museum.

Weisman Art Museum, Wafaa Bilal, and Theater of Public Policy, Amreeka: Election Night Comedy Special. Courtesy of Weisman Art Museum.

Brooks Turner, Legends and Myths of Ancient Minnesota. Installation view at Weisman Art Museum, 2020. Photo: Boris Oicherman. Courtesy of Weisman Art Museum.

Brooks Turner, Elks Lodge, 2020. Collage, newsprint. Courtesy of the artist and Weisman Art Museum.

Join us for free, artist-led virtual events that focus on questions of truth, culture, and power.

“Truth” might just be the single most contentious word in the USA over the last four years. Fake news, alternative facts, news echo chambers, the stuff of niche conspiracy theories and dark internet corners—all of it sprang into public consciousness and changed the way we think, act and talk. Is there a role for art museums in all this?

Museums engage with culture and, after all, and the very idea of truth is fundamentally a cultural one. Our sense of truth is shaped by the words, metaphors, colors, stories, shapes and symbols in books and articles we all read; the speeches we hear, the art we see. The stuff of culture cultivates or suppresses our expressions of empathy, fear, love, hate, compassion, and anger. It also informs the way we vote.

With this in mind, the artists and curators of WAM’s Target Studio for Creative Collaboration offer a series of programs responding to the general election as a cultural moment: a full roster of virtual events that dig deep into some of the pressing themes, concerns, and questions at the center of this year’s electoral cycle. Find details on the Weisman Art Museum website.

Election day programs

Conversation: States of Control: Who’s In Control?
Virtual event: Tuesday, November 3, noon (CST), free

Weisman Art Museum is partnering with the TOK collective (Russia/Israel/Netherlands) on an online debate about elections as a platform for representation of the people's will. Join an international group of speakers who, while observing the US elections live, discuss alternatives to current voting procedures. The conversation will also reflect on the manipulation and suppression of voters and election processes—a topic pertinent to the current US social and political environment, as well as recent election cycles in Russia, Belarus, Israel, and others.

Moderators: Anna Bitkina and Maria Veits, TOK Curators
Participants: Greg Yudin, sociologist (Russia) / Stephen Duncombe, media researcher and activist (USA) / Ayşe Çavdar, journalist, writer (Turkey) / Tali Keren, artist, Israel/USA / Idris Goodwin, writer, playwright (USA) / Paul DeMain, journalist, activist (USA)

Performance: Amreeka: Election Night Comedy Special
Virtual event: Tuesday, November 3, 8pm, free

An evening of election night humor presented by Target Studio artist-in-residence Wafaa Bilal, WAM, and Theater of Public Policy, featuring stand-up comics Suzie Afridi, Usama Siddiquee, and Amer Zahr. The comedians will comment on the incoming polls and election news, as it happens, and reflect on the state of “Amreeka,” as the word is pronounced in Arabic.

First created in 2016 by Wafaa Bilal, Amreeka is a comedy showcase that brings together a diverse group of comics—Middle Eastern, Asian, Latino, Black, Jewish—that all have one thing in common: they love to complain. The historical and current political environment leaves no shortage of opportunities to do just that.

Legends and Myths of Ancient Minnesota
October 25, 2020–January 3, 2021

Over the last two years, artist Brooks Turner has investigated historical documents focusing on the Silver Legion of America: a national Fascist organization that found considerable support in the 1930s. Through drawing and collage, Turner reassembled an aesthetic history of Fascism in Minnesota, traces of which are still evident in the present election campaign. The result, “an exhibition-in-print” in the form of a 32-page newspaper, was delivered to 37,000 Twin Cities subscribers of the Star Tribune on October 25, 2020. The project is accompanied by online programs dedicated to historical and contemporary manifestations of fascism.

The publication is available at WAM for visitors to take home between October 25, 2020-January 3, 2021. It may be mailed by request (while stock lasts): submit requests via bundleofsticks.art.


About Weisman Art Museum
Since its origin in 1934, WAM has been a teaching museum for the University of Minnesota. Today, education is central to the museum’s mission to create art experiences that spark discovery, critical thinking, and transformation, linking the University and the community.

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