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Lecture Series Archive

SMU’s Division of Art hosts an ongoing series of lectures and panels by an exciting group of artists, critics and curators. This series of discursive events is not only a crucial part of the graduate and undergraduate curriculum, it also provides a space for the Dallas community to engage with art and ideas.


Visiting Artist Lecture Series Presents Marie Lorenz (November, 2014)

Background: Marie Lorenz was born in Twentynine Palms, Calif., and grew up traveling with her military family. She received a B.F.A. from Rhode Island School of Design and an M.F.A. from Yale, where she now teaches in the Painting Department. Lorenz has received the Alice Kimball English Travel Fellowship and grants from Artists Space and the Harpo Foundation. In 2008 she was awarded the Joseph H. Hazen Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome. Her work has been shown nationally and internationally, from High Desert Test Sites in Joshua Tree, Calif., to MoMA PS1 in New York City. She has completed solo projects at Ikon Gallery in Birmingham, England, Artpace in San Antonio, Texas, and Jack Hanley Gallery in New York. Her ongoing project Tide and Current Taxi, featured in the Frieze 2014 in New York, is an exploration of the coastline in New York City.

Visiting Artist Lecture Series Presents Jamal Cyrus (November, 2014)

Background: Houston-based artist Jamal Cyrus produces revisionist approaches to American history in his work through the appropriation and reinterpretation of racially charged political paraphernalia and cultural objects. He focuses on the formulation of African American identity through cultural and political movements, such as the Jazz Age of the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s and the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, and its consequent appropriation by mainstream culture. In his performances, sculptures, drawings and collages, Cyrus creates his own alternative account of African American history, causing the viewer to acknowledge the subjectivity of interpreting past events. He has had solo exhibitions in Texas and New York and participated in group exhibitions and performances from coast to coast, including in the Whitney Biennial.

A Conversation with Doug Ashford (October, 2014)

Background: Doug Ashford is an artist, teacher and writer based in New York. He is Associate Professor at The Cooper Union where he has taught sculpture, design, and interdisciplinary studies since 1989. Ashford’s principle visual practice from 1982 to 1996 was the multi-form practice of Group Material, who’s work has been recently compiled in the book Show and Tell: A Chronicle of Group Material (Four Corners Books, 2010). Since 1996 he has continued to produce paintings, essays and collaborative projects that engage sociality with artistic form. His most recent public effort ended in the project Who Cares(Creative Time, 2006), a book built from a series of conversations between Ashford and other cultural practitioners on public expression, ethics, and beauty. Recent exhibitions of his paintings include “Abstract Possible”, Tensta Konsthall and other locations (2010-12), dOCUMENTA 13, Kassel (2012) and Bureau Publik, Copenhagen. A collection of essays, Doug Ashford: Writings and Conversation, (Mousse Publishing, 2013), was published on the occasion of his retrospective exhibition at the Grazer Kunstverein last year. He is represented by Wilfried Lentz Rotterdam.

Visiting Artist Lecture Series: A.L. Steiner

Background: A.L. Steiner utilizes constructions of photography, video, installation, collage, collaboration, performance, lecturing, writing and curatorial work as seductive tropes channeled through the sensibility of a skeptical queer eco-feminist androgyne. Steiner is a collective member of Chicks on Speed, co-curator of Ridykeulous, co-founder/organizer of Working Artists and the Greater Economy (W.A.G.E.) and collaborates with numerous visual and performing artists. She is also assistant professor and director of the M.F.A. program at the University of Southern California Roski School of Art and Design and a visiting M.F.A. faculty member at Bard College in New York. Her work is featured in such permanent collections as the Brooklyn Museum and The Museum of Modern Art and was included in the 2014 Whitney Biennial. Her work is represented by Deborah Schamoni Gallerie in Munich and Koenig & Clinton in New York.

Gallery Talk with Aissa Deebi (September, 2014)

Background: Aissa Deebi’s The Trial (2013) was his contribution to the Palestinian pavilion at the 2013 Venice Biennale. This two-channel video installation is based on the story of Daoud Turki, a Palestinian Communist who was put on trial by an Israeli court in 1973. Dor Guez’s Watermelons Under the Bed (2010) includes the story of his grandparents’ displacement in 1948. 40 Days includes a video and a series of photographs tied to Guez’s grandfather’s death and the desecration of the Christian Palestinian cemetery in Lod.

Embrace Your Antithesis by Slavs and Tatars (July, 2014):

Background: This lecture-performance will be followed by a discussion with the art collective Slavs and Tatars; Gabriel Ritter, The Nancy and Tim Hanley Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art at the Dallas Museum of Art; and Noah Simblist, Chair and Associate Professor of Art at SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts. Arguably the most important periodical of the Muslim world in the 20th century,Molla Nasreddin: the magazine that would’ve, could’ve, should’ve was a legendary Azerbaijani periodical, featuring illustrations reminiscent of a Daumier of the Caucasus. Molla Nasreddin was read by an audience that stretched from Morocco to India, and addressed issues such as gender equality, education, colonialism, and Islam’s integration of modernity – all of which remain as relevant and pressing today as when the magazine was first published a century ago.

Molla Nasreddin: Embrace Your Antithesis includes a discussion of the book's historical context, a case study of the complexity otherwise known as the Caucasus, the figure of the antimodern, and the issue of self-censorship a century ago and today.

Slavs and Tatars, founded in 2006, is an art collective whose installations, lecture-performances, sculptures and publications contemplate the lesser-known similarities found in the mix of belief systems and rituals among peoples of the Caucasus, Central Asia and Eastern Europe. Pursuing an unconventional research-based approach, the group identifies the “area east of the former Berlin Wall and west of the Great Wall of China known as Eurasia” as the focus of their multidisciplinary practice.

Visiting Artist Myra Greene (February, 2014)

Background: Myra Greene is associate professor of photography at Columbia College Chicago, She writes, “Throughout my artistic practice, I have returned to the body to explore issues of difference, beauty, physical and emotional recollections as they play out on the surface of the skin.” Her work is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, The National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City and The New York Public Library.
Listen: Myra Greene Live at SMU Meadows


Tania Bruguera: Visiting Artist Lecture (2013)

Background: Tania Bruguera is one of the leading political and performance artists of her generation. Her work researches ways in which art can be applied to everyday political life; she seeks to create a public forum to debate ideas shown in their state of contradictions and to focus on the transformation of the condition of “viewer” into one of “citizenry.” Bruguera uses the terms “arte de conducta” (conduct/behavior art) and “arte útil” (useful art) to define her practice. She works on appropriating the resources of power to create power, and on creating political situations through art.

Visiting Artist Lecture Series: Deana Lawson (2013)

Background: Lawson refers to the subjects in her photos as her family even though there is no blood relation; her work focuses on “the psychological, personal, political and historical experiences that are implicated through the body.” Lawson received her M.F.A. from Rhode Island School of Design and currently lives in New York.
Listen: Deana Lawson: Live at SMU Meadows

Visiting Artist Lecture Series: Michelle Erickson (2013)

Background: Michelle Erickson is internationally recognized for her mastery of the lost ceramic arts of the age of exploration and colonialism. Her contemporary work makes use of these arcane ceramic techniques to create historical narratives about political, social and environmental issues – both past and present.
Listen: Visiting Artist Lecture Series: Michelle Erickson

Visiting Artist Lecture Series: Lilian Garcia-Roig (2013)

Background: Cuban-born artist Lilian Garcia-Roig earned a B.F.A. at SMU Meadows in 1988 and an M.F.A. at the University of Pennsylvania.
Listen: Lilian Garcia-Roig at SMU Meadows

A Conversation with Teddy Cruz (2013)

Background: Teddy Cruz’ work dwells at the border between San Diego, California and Tijuana, Mexico, where he has been developing a practice and pedagogy that emerge out of the particularities of this bicultural territory and the integration of theoretical research and design production. Teddy’ Cruz has been recognized internationally in collaboration with community-based nonprofit organizations such as Casa Familiar for its work on housing and its relationship to an urban policy more inclusive of social and cultural programs for the city. He obtained a Masters in Design Studies from Harvard University and the Rome Prize in Architecture from the American Academy in Rome. He has recently received the 2004-05 James Stirling Memorial Lecture On The City Prize and is currently a Professor in public culture and urbanism in the Visual Arts Department at UCSD in San Diego.

Visiting Artist Lecture Series: Gavin Morrison (2013)

Background: Morrison is a Scottish born curator, writer and publisher based in south of France, where he runs IFF, a project gallery which creates exhibitions and off-site works in Marseille. He is also an Exchange Fellow in the Department of Architecture at the University of Edinburgh and a co-director of the research project, What is Ignorance? at the Royal Institute of Art, Stockholm, Sweden. In addition he is also a director of Atopia Projects, a curatorial and publishing initiative. He is currently working on an exhibition about the modernist architect Berthold Lubetkin for the Art Academy in Tbilisi, Georgia. Recently he has begun to collaborate with a number of different artists, such as: A History of Type Design with Scott Myles. Further he is presently working on two books: The Unresolved Fate of the Kinetic Tower, an irregular history of a maligned public sculpture in Edinburgh and Falkirk Cannons for Corsica, an explorative travelogue searching for cannons sent from Scotland to Corsican rebels in the 1770s. From 2007-09 Morrison was Curator of Fort Worth Contemporary Arts, during which time he oversaw the opening and initial programming.
Listen: Gavin Morrison Sits Down with Noah Simblist

Visiting Artist Lecture Series: Alejandro Cesarco 

Cesarco’s work addresses, through different formats and strategies, his recurrent interests in repetition, narrative and the practices of reading and translating, often involving text, photography, film and video. He has represented Uruguay in the 2011 Venice Biennale, shown extensively in the U.S. and Europe, and was the 2011 winner of the Baloise Art Prize with his installation The Streets Were Dark With Something More Than Night or The Closer I Get to the End the More I Rewrite the Beginning at Art 42 Basel.
Listen: A Conversation with Alejandro Cesarco


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