The exhibition knowledges at the Spencer Museum of Art rethinks the academic art museum as an active participant in a university’s research community by highlighting the work of artists as researchers and art as a form of research. The exhibition features site-specific commissions by four contemporary installation artists: Assaf Evron, Danielle Roney, Fatimah Tuggar, and Andrew S. Yang.
The work of these artists corresponds to four different areas of research supported by the Spencer Museum’s Integrated Arts Research Initiative (IARI): data visualization, immigration, social histories, and ecologies. The exhibition’s title is intentionally lowercase and plural to emphasize that knowledge creation does not only occur in laboratories, scholarly publications, and lecture halls. Art is a form of knowledge that contributes to many fields of inquiry, and the installations in knowledges reflect on the many ways knowledges are created.
In conjunction with the knowledges exhibition, IARI will host a free, three-day colloquium to reflect on art, research, and social justice, November 5–7. This colloquium also serves as a pre-conference for the national Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities (a2ru) gathering hosted at the University of Kansas November 7–9.
Visual culture scholar Nicholas Mirzoeff will give a free keynote that closes the IARI colloquium and kicks off the a2ru conference. His lecture “Whiteness: What Is to Be Done?” investigates whether art spaces can serve as sites to decenter whiteness and stimulate social justice.
knowledges continues at the Spencer Museum of Art (1301 Mississippi St, Lawrence, Kansas) through January 5, 2020.
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