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LECTURE: Vesela Sretenovic, "Contemporary Art in Historic Settings"

  • The Suburban Club 7600 Park Heights Avenue Pikesville, MD, 21208 United States (map)

Contemporary Art in Historic Settings
Vesela Sretenovic, Ph.D., Senior Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, The Phillips Collection

In Contemporary Art in Historic Settings, Vesela Sretenovic will look at examples of contemporary art projects created directly in relation/response to historic sites or historic collections.  She will discuss the work of artists like Ann Hamilton and Kara Walker. An example is Kara Walker’s 2014 installation, A Subtlety. Sited in the sprawling industrial relic of Brooklyn’s legendary Domino Sugar Factory, Walker’s physically and conceptually expansive installation – a massive, sugar-coated sphinx-like woman – responded to the building and its history.  A Subtlety’s curatorial statement introduces themes Walker regularly engages with and touches on the complicated nature of contemporary site-specific art:

 “[This] gigantic temporary sugar-sculpture speaks of power, race, bodies, women, sexuality, slavery, sugar refining, sugar consumption, wealth inequity, and industrial might that uses the human body to get what it needs no matter the cost to life and limb. Looming over a plant whose entire history was one of sweetening tastes and aggregating wealth, of refining sweetness from dark to white, she stands mute, a riddle so wrapped up in the history of power and its sensual appeal that one can only stare stupefied, unable to answer.” 

LOCATION: the Suburban Club (7600 Park Heights)
$15 door fee for guests and subscribers

IMAGE CREDIT: The Washington Post