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Thursday, November 16, 2006

Artspace opening reception this Saturday, Nov. 18

50 Orange St, New Haven, (203) 772-2709
Don’t Know Much About History
Nov. 18—Jan. 20, 2006
Opening reception: Nov. 18, 6—8 p.m. (preceded by a discussion with the artists at 5 p.m.)

Press release

History is ever-accumulating: At the instant time passes, it becomes part of a lineage of people, places and events. Why then, despite the fact that history is an integral part of our beings, do we often remain so blind to the past? Don’t Know Much About History explores this cultural ignorance, and gets at the root of why history is at once a thorn in our side, and the thing that drives us on.

Especially today, the relevance of documentation seems increasingly necessary. Important and frightening historical events are happening constantly. These artists return to history to reinterpret it in the most relevant and contemporary manner, to make sense of the present through the past. Examining history through a contemporary lens, they offer fresh perspectives and, in turn, encourage viewers to examine their own relationships to the world, both past and present.

There is a four-step trajectory that history takes within this exhibition, starting with artists who are exploring the genre of historic painting (Charles Browning, Michael Kreuger, Justin Richel and Mary Dwyer); and moving onto artists concerned with history’s relationship to art (Titus Kaphar, Joe Zane and Lalla A. Essaydi). A series of artists looking at historic events to reflect upon the current (Phil Whitman, Allison Smith, Colleen Coleman and James Esber) bridge the past and the present. A final group of artists using history to comment upon their place in contemporary society (Jonathan Santos, Deborah Bright, Andrea Robbins and Max Becher and Johnny Carrera).

There will be a discussion with the artists at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 18th, followed by the opening reception, 6-8 p.m.

There will be a gallery talk on Thursday, Nov. 30, 6 p.m., “Similar and different: Perspectives on Modern Art of the Arab World”: an overview of 20th century Arab modern art by Lebanese Gallerist Saleh Barakat, curator and founder of Agial Gallery. Saleh is a 2006 Yale World Fellow. He lives and works in Beirut, Lebanon.

Artspace teen docents will give a one-hour guided tour on Saturday, Dec. 9, 3 p.m.

Also opening Nov.18: Project Room: Jason Sibley: Interaction Variation #1;
Flatfile: Elise Kaufman: Water views: Changes on the Brooklyn Waterfront;
John/Jane Project: Nina Bentley: Room For Reflection and Riccardo Boglione & Georgina Torello: Leisure Of Scybala.

Also visit The Lot (Corner of Orange and Chapel St) for June Bisantz Evans: Directions For Use, a series of playful signs, which encourage visitors to the site to stop, look and think about their surroundings.


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