DISTINGUISHED LECTURE AND RECEPTION
The Trees Elude Us: Russian / Soviet Modernity and What Happens with Nature
Dr. Jane Coslow, Clark A. Griffith Professor of Environmental Studies at Bates College, Lewiston, Maine Thursday, April 20 / 4:30 to 6:30 pm Free and open to the public
The Trees Elude Us explores some of the ways in which Russian artists and writers have responded to modernity and its impacts on the natural world – and on human relations to the more-than-human. Cognizant of what Varlam Shalamov called “the hurried, predatory leap” of Soviet modernization, Dr. Costlow offers some reflections on how creative imagination has worked as witness, celebrant and fierce protectress of a nature that is always more than mere resource for human needs.
This program is offered in conjunction with A Vibrant Field: Nature and Landscape in Soviet Nonconformist Art, 1970s-1980s.
A reception follows the lecture.
71 Hamilton Street, New Brunswick, NJ.
A Vibrant Field: Nature and Landscape in Soviet Nonconformist Art, 1960s-1980s is the first exhibition at the Zimmerli Art Museum to explore the wide range of meanings that the natural world held for unofficial artists in the Soviet Union. Drawn from the strengths of the Dodge Collection, the exhibition brings together works produced in the period between thaw and perestroika that challenged the link between nature, optimism, and progress, which socialist realist aesthetics had promoted. Approximately fifty objects across media are featured, including painting, sculpture, works on paper, photography, and performance, by more than twenty-five artists and artist groups from the Soviet republics of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, and Ukraine. Despite the artists’ diverse backgrounds and creative approaches, together their works establish nature as a vibrant subject matter, push the boundaries of landscape as a genre, and limit the appropriation of landscape imagery in the name of socialist ideology. In turn, the status of nature in late socialism, and one’s individual or collective place within it, is explored as an open–and vital–question.
A Vibrant Field assembles varied perspectives, vantage points, and orientations that underlie how one experiences nature, both in the physical sense of navigating nature as a real environment and in the conceptual sense of coming to know, describe, represent, or assign it with symbolic value. The exhibition is mapped along three principle zones of inquiry. The first, Visions, draws together work that takes to task the process of visualizing spaces in nature in order to elucidate, reimagine, or critique how humans relate to or inhabit them. In this section, particular attention is paid to works that highlight ecological concerns resulting from the exploitation of natural resources and rapid pursuit of industrialization in the Soviet Union. In Reflections, artists place less emphasis on the material landscapes in nature than on how they become a picture and the role of artistic convention, memory, and ideology in mediating this process. Finally, Encounters considers the emergence of land art and performance-based practices in nature in the 1970s and 1980s that provided a freer alternative to urban communality, ritual, and public space in the Soviet Union. Through their direct encounters with the land, artists in this section approach nature not only as a subject matter or a backdrop to their work, but in some cases as an actor or co-producer.
Organized by Anna Rogulina, a Dodge-Lawrence Fellow at the Zimmerli and Ph.D. student in the Department of Art History at Rutgers
The exhibition and brochure are made possible by the Avenir Foundation Endowment Fund, The Thickman Family Foundation, and the Dodge Charitable Trust – Nancy Ruyle Dodge, Trustee.
Wednesday, March 29 / Tour, Film, and Reception 4:30pm: Tour of A Vibrant Field by the exhibition curator, Anna Rogulina 5:30pm: Screening of the 2015 award-winning documentary film Babushkas of Chernobyl.
Thursday, April 20 / Distinguished Lecture and Reception 4:30-6:30pm: Dr. Jane Costlow, Clark A. Griffith Professor of Environmental Studies at Bates College, Lewiston, Maine, explores the subject of nature imaginaries in Soviet literature and visual culture.
Funding opportunity: Dodge Assistantships at the Zimmerli Art Museum for Graduate Study in the Department of Art History, Rutgers University, New Brunswick NJ
Deadline: January 10, 2017
The Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers University offers Dodge Graduate Assistantships to doctoral candidates admitted to the Department of Art History who are committed to research on unofficial art of the former Soviet Union. Established in 2002 with a generous endowment from the Avenir Foundation in honor of Norton T. and Nancy Dodge, this assistantship program provides full tuition, fees, and health benefits, as well as an annual stipend for living expenses, to graduate students (known as Dodge Fellows). Travel funds for research and language study abroad, as well as for participation in conferences, are also available to Dodge Fellows by formal application.
Dodge Fellows who enter Rutgers without a master’s degree are eligible for five years of assistantship funding. During the course of the first three years, students are obliged to work 15 hours a week in the Zimmerli’s Russian and Soviet curatorial offices; the subsequent two years support dissertation research and writing without any work obligation. Those who enter with a master’s degree are awarded four years of funding, reflecting a shortened period of coursework required for the doctoral degree. Work at the Zimmerli Art Museum is supervised by Dr. Jane A. Sharp, Associate Professor of Art History and Research Curator for the Dodge Collection, and Dr Julia Tulovsky, Curator for Russian and Soviet Nonconformist Art, with the assistance of other museum staff. The fellows perform a variety of tasks such as curatorial assistance in exhibition and catalogue production as well as administration and collection management. During the third year Dodge Fellows are given the opportunity to curate their own exhibition from the Zimmerli’s Norton and Nancy Dodge Collection.
Please refer to this link for more information: http://arthistory.rutgers.edu
Application and Selection Process: Dodge Assistantships are awarded by the Department of Art History in consultation with the Zimmerli’s Director and staff to incoming graduate students.
For information about the Dodge Assistantships, contact Professor Jane Sharp
Deadline to apply is January 10, 2017
Exhibition: Dreamworlds and Catastrophes: Intersections of Art and Science in the Dodge Collection
Ksenia Nouril, SHERA’s own Secretary and Treasurer, has organised an exhibition of Soviet nonconformist art from the collection of Norton and Nancy Dodge at the Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, entitled “Dreamworlds and Catastrophes: Intersections of Art and Science in the Dodge Collection,” which opens to the public this Saturday, March 12, 2016.
The exhibition examines the consequences of innovations in science, technology, mathematics, communications, and design on unofficial Soviet art. Produced between the 1960s and 1980s, the works on view address themes of international significance from a turbulent period marked by the building of the Berlin Wall, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and a failed attempt at improved United States-Soviet relations. Dreamworlds and Catastrophes features over 50 works by artists from the former Soviet republics of Estonia, Latvia, Russia, and Ukraine. It will be on view until July 31, 2016.
On Thursday, April 14, a public program and reception will take place, starting with a walk-through at 4pm. This will be followed by two invited guest lectures on American and Soviet Cold War art and politics by John J. Curley, Ph.D. of Wake Forest University and David Foglesong, Ph.D. of Rutgers.
Information about driving directions, parking, and public transportation (50 minutes from NY Penn Station) can be found here: http://www.zimmerlimuseum.rutgers.edu/about/visit-us.