Lunder Institute Talks
In the fall of 2020, the Lunder Institute launched the Lunder Institute Talks, a series of live, hour-long Zoom conversations with scholars and artists who are shaping the field of American art.
In the first season of the series, Lunder Institute area directors (Daisy Desrosiers, Theaster Gates, and Tanya Sheehan) and invited guests explored contemporary questions through artistic and scholarly practice. Each conversation engaged with artworks and/or ongoing projects related to the Colby College Museum of Art, including work by the invited artists.
On Thursday, September 24, Director of Artist Programs Daisy Desrosiers spoke with Naeem Mohaiemen, a 2020–21 Senior Fellow at the Lunder Institute for American Art.
Mohaiemen combines films, installations, and essays to research socialist utopia, malleable borders, and rhizomatic families and is author of Prisoners of Shothik Itihash (Kunsthalle Basel, 2014), and co-editor with Eszter Szakacs of Solidarity Must be Defended (Tranzit, forthcoming). In addition to his fellowship with the Lunder Institute, Mohaiemen is a 2020–23 Mellon Fellow at Columbia University and is on the Advisory Board of the Vera List Center for Art & Politics at the New School in New York.
On Thursday, October 15, 2020, Distinguished Scholar and Director of Research Tanya Sheehan spoke with Hank Willis Thomas and Eric Gottesman, cofounders of For Freedoms, an artist-run initiative to merge political and artistic discourse, which was awarded the 2017 ICP Infinity Award for New Media and Online Platform.
Thomas is a conceptual artist working primarily with themes related to perspective, identity, commodity, media, and popular culture. His collaborative projects include Question Bridge: Black Males, In Search Of The Truth (The Truth Booth) and Writing on the Wall. Thomas is a recipient of the Gordon Parks Foundation Fellowship (2018), Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship (2018), Art for Justice Grant (2018), AIMIA | AGO Photography Prize (2017), Soros Equality Fellowship (2017), and is a former member of the New York City Public Design Commission.
Gottesman photographs, writes, makes videos, teaches, and uses art as a vehicle to explore aesthetic, social, and political culture. Gottesman is a 2020 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellow, the recipient of a 2017 International Center of Photography Infinity Award, a 2015 Creative Capital Artist Grant, and a 2010 Fulbright Fellowship in art as well as an Artadia Award, an Aaron Siskind Foundation Artist Fellowship, a Massachusetts Individual Artist Fellowship, and other grants and awards.
Thursday, November 12, 2020, Distinguished Visiting Artist and Director of Artist Initiatives Theaster Gates spoke with Romi Crawford, another 2020–21 Senior Fellow at the Lunder Institute for American Art.
Crawford is a Professor of Visual and Critical Studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her research and writing explore areas of race and ethnicity as these relate to American visual culture (including art, film, and photography). She is co-author of The Wall of Respect: Public Art and Black Liberation in 1960s Chicago (Northwestern University Press, 2017). Additional publications include “Elements of the Gatesian Method: Contract Aesthetics, Black Bricks, and Extreme Collaboration,” in Land Art and Nothingness (Place Lab, 2018); “Reading Between the Photographs: Serious Sociality in the Kamoinge Photographic Workshop,” in Working Together: Louis Draper and the Kamoinge Workshop (Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Spring 2020); and the forthcoming Fleeting Monuments for the Wall of Respect (Green Lantern Press, 2020).
Read our student intern and research assistant reflections on the inaugural series.