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Visual Art in the Age of Rapid Acceleration

The University of Arizona School of Art Visiting Artists and Scholars Lecture Series, 2016-2017
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Torkwase Dyson  
Thursday, October 6, 2016 , 5:30 PM
Center for Creative Photography 108

Alejandro Cartagena   
Thursday, November 3, 2016 , 5:00 PM
Center for Creative Photography 108

Kate Mondloch   
Thursday, February 2, 2017 , 5:30 PM
Center for Creative Photography 108

Hasan M. Elahi   
Thursday, February 23, 2017 , 5:30 PM
Center for Creative Photography 108

Torkwase Dyson
Thursday, October 6, 2016 , 5:30 PM  |  Center for Creative Photography 108
Lecture: Illegal Abstraction A Single Author


Torkwase Dyson, Moments Between (Auction Block), pen on paper, 35 x 46 in, 2015. Image Courtesy of the Artist.

Torkwase Dyson distills and deconstructs natural and built environments to consider how individuals negotiate and negate various types of systems and systemic order. Dyson’s lecture investigates various ways abstraction, as a multi-direction action, can distance us from lived experiences, but also bring us closer our own humanity. Interested in the plurality of abstraction as a political presence that prioritized subjectivity, she explores the spatial strategy of enslaved people who hid or stowed away in architectural spaces. Dyson deconstructs the histories of Anthony Burns, Henry “Box” Brown and Harriet Jacobs, through an architectural lens to examine abstraction as a transpatial strategy that each embodied to defy the state. Each of the three people “exchange” infrastructures of state-sanctioned domination by converting enslavement into a system of self-imposed displacement, structural confinement and geographic mapping to attain their freedom.

Bio: Dyson’s work has been exhibited at the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Corcoran College of Art and Design, the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, and the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art. She has been awarded the Nancy Graves Grant for Visual Artists, Visiting Artist grant to the Nicholas School of the Environment, the Culture Push Fellowship for Utopian Practices, and the FSP/Jerome Fellowship Torkwase is now based in Brooklyn, New York.

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