James House Welcomes “Interpreting Displacement”

Students in front of Sofia Vivado's artwork

 

Pia Chackraverti-Wuerthwein ’16, who has long been interested in both art curation and issues of displacement, premiered Interpreting Displacement on Feb. 22 in James House, the 24-hour student art space on campus. Abby Fullem ’16 and the rest of the James House Board supported the aspiring curator in the creation of the exhibit, which explores displacement and its manifestations in music, space, time and memory, and features the works of Anneke Heher ‘14, Honglan Huang ‘16, Andrew Szczurek ‘16 and Sofia Vivado ‘16.

Standing before the mobile she created from colorful puzzle-piece cut-outs pasted with facts about endangered languages, Heher cited her linguistics thesis and many summers spent in Montana as the major inspirations for the piece. “It’s really hard to spend time in the Midwest without stumbling upon hints of displacement,” she said.

Anneke Heher's mobile

 

In the adjacent corner was Huang’s interactive photo-exhibit “Traveling through Time,” for which postcards and photos from Shanghai, China, were displayed across the wall. Viewers were encouraged to write messages to a subject from a different time.

Honglan Huang's installation

 

Vivado’s “Untitled Acrylic” is a collection of three acrylic maps displaying the injustices of Mapuche immigration and the issues of border-displacement. Vivado said that the technicality the acrylics required made the piece a challenging creation.

Vivado's "Untitled Acrylic" series

 

Those attending the opening gathered in the James House living room to hear “Duck, Fish and Albatross,” a classical music composition written by Szczurek. A more modernist composer, Szczurek made his first foray into classical composition with this piece, which conveys “how history was a musical displacement and vice versa.” The five musicians who played “Duck, Fish and Albatross” were dressed in clothes reflecting the stereotypes of their respective instruments to further convey the notion of “musical displacement.”

Andrew Szczurek (right) and musicians perform "Duck, Fish and Albatross"

 

David Robinson ’14, in the audience during the performance, commented afterward that he especially enjoyed the “solitary nature and visceral emotions” embedded within Szczurek’s piece.

More musicians playing Andrew Szczurek's piece

 

Interpreting Displacement doubled as the unofficial debut of the newly renovated James House. Board members spent much of last semester repainting walls, replacing furniture and creating a more accessible space for student art work and shows. “I think it’s cool that students are making the space creative and productive,” said attendee Sienna Mann ’14.

Interpreting Displacement will be on display until mid-March and the James House gallery is available for future student show bookings.

Photos by Deborah Leter ’15.

 

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One Response to James House Welcomes “Interpreting Displacement”

  1. Pia says:

    Thanks so much for the story! I had one correction, though.
    The exhibition was a joint project of mine and Abby Fullem’s. Although I started out with the idea and made many of the curatorial decisions in terms of the wording of text, reaching out to artists, etc. we did most of the work together. She was the Managing/Logistics Director and I was the Curatorial Director. So, while I conceptualized the show she realized the space and directed me and others as we laid down flooring, ordered curtains, painted walls and whatever else was needed to make it look as fabulous as it does now.
    -Pia Chakraverti-Wuerthwein

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