More than Bilingual: William Cordova and Major JacksonJanuary 27 - May 10, 2009
Although Peruvian-born visual artist William Cordova and African-American poet Major Jackson come from divergent backgrounds, both artists find inspiration and common ground in music, literature, and the urban aesthetic. Cordova's mixed-media drawings and his installations of discarded stereo speakers and record albums allude to modern urban subcultures as well as to his memories of Peru. Jackson's poetry explores race and language, and ways in which language can both perpetuate clichéd attitudes and foster new ways of thinking. Individually and collaboratively, their works celebrate and critique how cultural territories are dispersed, redefined, and transformed in urban settings.
The tradition of poet-painter collaborations flourished in New York City in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Although this creative practice diminished in later decades-in part because the artistic movements of Minimalism, Conceptual Art, and Earth Art seemingly offered less scope for poetic collaboration-it is now enjoying a resurgence. The Fleming Museum is pleased to participate in this movement by bringing together for the first time William Cordova and University of Vermont faculty member Major Jackson, longtime admirers of one another's work.
The exhibition is timed to coincide with the 35th African Literature Association (ALA) conference, which focuses on the ways creative writers and artists from other cultural traditions imagined Africa and blackness in the past as well as the extent to which that imagining has evolved and can be said to foster inter-subjective dialogue in the age of globalization. Through our own programming, and partnering with ALA participants' as well as members of the Latin American Studies program at the university, we aim to explore avenues of critical dialogue emerging from the work of this creative pairing of artists.
Please join us on Thursday, April 16 at 8:00 PM for a special evening of poetry in memoriam Aimé Césaire hosted by the Museum in association with the ALA Conference.
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