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Announcement
October 6, 2021

Heather Hart: Afrotecture (Re)Collection
F: Reconstituting Tolstoy College

The University at Buffalo Art Galleries

[1] Heather Hart, Sweet Lorraine, 2021. Installation view, Heather Hart: Afrotecture (Re)Collection, University at Buffalo Art Galleries, 2021. Courtesy of the artist and Davidson Gallery. [2] F: Reconstituting Tolstoy College, 2021. Installation view, University at Buffalo Art Galleries. Photos: Nando Alvarez-Perez.

University at Buffalo Art Galleries is pleased to present two new exhibitions, Heather Hart: Afrotecture (Re)Collection and F: Reconstituting Tolstoy College.

Heather Hart: Afrotecture (Re)Collection
Through May 21, 2021

Born in Seattle and based in Brooklyn, Heather Hart is an interdisciplinary artist exploring the power in thresholds, questioning dominant narratives, and creating alternatives to them through viewer activation. Through large-scale sculptural installations of rooftops and porches, Hart transforms exhibition spaces into sites of interactions and invites visitors to contemplate what it means to create a Black space of joy and reflection. Growing up with a carpenter father, she witnessed how lumber can demarcate and frame spaces, and how these spaces become containers for social relations and memories.

At UB Art Galleries, Hart presents Sweet Lorraine (2021), which explores yet another space neither wholly interior nor exterior: a balcony. Sweet Lorraine directly “quotes”—to use Hart’s word—the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee, where the civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968. Re-creating a section of this balcony, Hart’s installation prompts challenging questions about the mutability of architecture’s function and significance, and its role in invoking past struggles amid current ones. How do we memorialize a person or an event through place-making? How do we build a space capacious enough to hold a traumatic past as well as joy and encouragement for the work ahead? This exhibition is an invitation to reflect on a balcony that exists in our collective psyche and memory as well as in concrete form in Memphis. Where these reflections lead us is part of the ongoing struggle to move forward as a people, guided by shared histories and inspirations for the changes ahead.

F: Reconstituting Tolstoy College
Through March 12, 2022

F: Reconstituting Tolstoy College examines the genesis, lifespan, and eventual dissolution of College F—an anarchist educational community known colloquially as Tolstoy College—which operated within the University at Buffalo between 1969 and 1985. Bringing together the results of archival research, oral history, and a design and construction workshop, the exhibition considers Tolstoy College’s activities and impulses and weighs the possibilities of an anarchist pedagogical experiment today.

Organized by Collective Question (Steven Chodoriwsky, Chris Lee, and Julie Niemi) and Liz Park, Curator, UB Art Galleries, the exhibition includes a short film, made in collaboration with Ben Balcom; a series of furniture sculptures, built alongside participants from Assembly House 150 (Quincy Koczka, Adrienne Massey, Frances Parson, and Meaghan Rolle-Heldwein); and an installation by Kameelah Janan Rasheed. These interventions are anchored by a selection of archival materials, which together recast Tolstoy College’s project of forming trusting collective groups that take shape around a common goal of honesty, frankness, and informality.

Heather Hart: Afrotecture (Re)Collection is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Support for F: Reconstituting Tolstoy College is provided by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Support for UB Art Galleries is provided by the UB College of Arts and Sciences, the Visual Arts Building Fund, the UB Anderson Gallery Fund, and the Seymour H. Knox Foundation Fine Art Fund.

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