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Announcement
February 25, 2022

Core Memory

Newcomb Art Museum of Tulane University

From left: Darlene Langley Robinson, Coiled and sewn storage basket with lid, 2000. Longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) needles, coyyihissí, raffia, pahí. Courtesy Williamson Museum Collection, Donation of Ron Wilkinson. Ahree Lee, Ada (detail), 2019. Cotton, linen and wool on canvas. Courtesy of the artist.

 

From left: Scarlett Darden, Plaited heart-shaped basket with loop for hanging with Ketmix Soq (Mouse Tracks) design, 2015. Rivercane (arundinaria gigantea). Courtesy of a private collection and the artist. Robin Kang, Topaz Tetra Oscillator, 2016. Hand jacquard woven cotton, hand dyed wool, satin and metallic yarn. Courtesy of the artist.

New Orleans, Louisiana—Newcomb Art Museum of Tulane University is pleased to announce its upcoming exhibition season Core Memory, with two exhibits Louisiana Native American Basketry and Encoded, that draw from the creative legacy of the H. Sophie Newcomb Memorial College and its prescient synthesis of art, craft, and design to understand weaving technologies. The exhibits are set to open Saturday, February 19 and run through June 25, 2022. The museum is open Tuesdays through Fridays 10am to 4pm, and Saturdays and Sundays 11am to 4pm. Admission is always free. More information can be found here.

Featuring the work of more than forty artists, Core Memory puts into conversation two modalities of weaving: Indigenous basketry and the emergent field of systems-based textiles. Core Memory explores disparate approaches toward media, tradition and composition - and investigates the animating forces within each artist’s creative practice. The exhibits look at how information is remembered and how the handmade labor of weaving is a foundation for understanding machine logic. In the 135 works on view, artists deploy geometry and numerical systems of pattern in the process of creative expression.

Louisiana Native American Basketry, co-curated by Dayna Bowker Lee, PhD and Teresa Parker Farris, brings together works from five Indigenous Nations: the Chitimacha, Choctaw, Coushatta, Tunica-Biloxi, and Houma; and casts light on more than thirty Native American fiber artists. Six contemporary weavers are profiled in the exhibition including Chitimacha artist John Paul Darden; Coushatta artists Marjorie Battise and Myrna Wilson; Houma artist Janie Verret Luster; Jena Choctaw artist Rose Fisher Greer and Tunica-Biloxi/Choctaw artist Elisabeth Pierite. These artists’ remarkable creations from pine needles, river cane, cypress, and palmetto serve as important emblems – and transmit living cultural identity in dialog with tradition, from one generation to the next.

Encoded, organized by Newcomb Art Museum Curator Laura Blereau, highlights a contemporary shift in art toward weaving and fiber arts, as well as computational processes—two production modes with deep connections to grids, writing systems and women practitioners. Ahree Lee’s algorithmic approach to textiles recalls Ada Lovelace, the 19th century mathematician. Threaded works by video art pioneer Beryl Korot contemplate the impact of technology and language on human behavior and cultural change. Faig Ahmed’s sculptures are produced with weavers from his native Azerbaijan, where carpets have been handwoven since the Bronze Age. Robin Kang uses a digital Jacquard loom to craft tapestries that combine mystical energy and symbolism with computer glitch.

A free public reception celebrating the opening of Core Memory will take place on Saturday, March 5 at the Newcomb Art Museum in the Woldenberg Art Center on Tulane’s uptown campus. Attendees will be able to enjoy a gallery walk-through with the curators and several of the Louisiana Native American Basketry and Encoded artists, who will be on hand to answer questions. The artists confirmed for the reception include Marjorie Battise, Myrna Wilson, Janie Verret Luster, Rose Fisher Greer, Elisabeth Pierite and Robin Kang.

The exhibition is free for all to visit. The museum is open Tuesdays through Fridays 10am to 5pm, and Saturdays and Sundays 11am to 4pm. Information about the museum’s free public programs, exhibition tours, Newcomb Pottery collection tours, Tiffany Window tours, and ongoing virtual programs can be found here or by emailing museum [​at​] tulane.edu.

The exhibition and related programs are funded in part by the Dorothy Beckemeyer Skau Art and Music Fund at the Newcomb Institute; South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Louisiana Division of the Arts; the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation and a Rebirth grant administered by the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities (LEH) and provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) as part of the American Rescue Plan (ARP) and the NEH Sustaining the Humanities through the American Rescue Plan (SHARP) initiative. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this exhibition and related programs and publications do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Core Memory Opening Reception: March 5, 2–5pm, A gallery walk-through with the curators and several of the artists, including Marjorie Battise, Myrna Wilson, Janie Verret Luster, Rose Fisher Greer, Elisabeth Pierite and Robin Kang.

Robin Kang: "Weaving, Waveforms & Mysticism" Artist Talk: March 5, 3–4pm, Learn about fiber artist Robin Kang’s past work and fascinating process of hand weaving with the TC2 digital Jacquard loom. She will also discuss her ongoing studies of weaving in Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, Mexico, Guatemala and Peru.

"Sassafras, Stickball and Stories" Reception: March 18, 5–7pm, Reception & gallery tour for the Fourth Annual Tulane Gulf South Indigenous Studies Symposium presented by the New Orleans Center for the Gulf South.

Janie Verret Luster: "The Coiled-Half Hitch Revival" Artist Talk & Weaving Workshop: March 26, 1–3pm, A master palmetto basket weaver and cultural preservationist of the United Houma Nation, Luster is widely recognized for her coiled half-hitch baskets, made using an intricate weaving technique lost to the Houma for nearly a generation.

Faig Ahmed: "Reimagining Ancient Craft" Virtual Artist Talk: March 31, 6–8pm, Take a behind-the-scenes look at Faig Ahmed’s process of working with computers and Azerbaijani women weavers to create fantastical woven sculptures that merge traditional form with the freedom and possibility of a new imagined reality.

Ahree Lee: "Pattern and Code" Artist Talk & Weaving Workshop: April 9, 1–3pm, New media and textile artist Ahree Lee will speak on her artworks exploring the junction between computing and weaving—and the often-overlooked but essential role of women in the development of coding.

Core Memory Concert I, "Music at Midday": April 20, 12–1pm, Computer music is inseparable from the ideas of memory, process, pattern, repetition, and change. Tulane music professor and prizewinning pianist Katalin Lukács performs “Triadic Memories” by Morton Feldman in the gallery.

Core Memory Concert II, "Trapani, Fusi, Reich & More": April 30, 12–1pm, This second gallery concert curated by Dr. Rick Snow of the Newcomb Department of Music specifically for Core Memory, features Christopher Trapani compositions performed by violinist Marco Fusi, as well as minimalist compositions by Steve Reich.

Beryl Korot: "Lines, the Loom & Tower of Babel" Virtual Artist Talk: May 26, 6–8pm, This multimedia conversation with Beryl Korot explores the relationship of language and technology to human thought and cultural change.

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