Connective Conversations | Inside Oregon Art

Jan Verwoert | About the Connective Conversations Series

The University of Oregon College of Design in partnership with The Ford Family Foundation is pleased to announce the continuation of the Curator and Critic Tours and Lectures program, Connective Conversations | Inside Oregon Art for the 2017-18 season.

Ford Family Foundation logo


Jan Verwoert

“Live Through This: The Fate of Public Voices”

PORTLAND
Thursday, November 9, 2017
6:00 p.m.
Whitsell Auditorium
Portland Art Museum
1219 SW Park Avenue

Portland Art Museum logo

EUGENE
Thursday, November 14, 2017
6:00 p.m.
Lawrence Hall, Room 177
1190 Franklin Boulevard

Jan Verwoert will address the existential condition of critical writing. "The model of one person passing judgment on others has become ridiculous,” he says. "Art, life, politics—we're in it together after all, even and especially now that societies are forcefully split. What does it take for a voice to articulate intuitions and observations in a manner that allows for very different people to relate to a public thinking process? Urban satire can do it. Is this because laughing at the state of the world awakens a sense of grotesque, yet fateful connectedness?"

Jan Verwoert is a critic and writer on contemporary art and cultural theory, based in Berlin. His writing has appeared in different journals, anthologies and monographs. He teaches at the Piet Zwart Institute Rotterdam. He is a professor for theory at the Oslo National Academy of the Arts and guest professor at the UdK Graduate School, Berlin. He is the author of Bas Jan Ader: In Search of the Miraculous, MIT Press/Afterall Books 2006, the essay collection Tell Me What You Want What You Really Really Want, Sternberg Press/Piet Zwart Institute 2010, together with Michael Stevenson, Animal Spirits — Fables in the Parlance of Our Time, Christoph Keller Editions, JRP, Zurich 2013, a second collection of his essays Cookie! published by Sternberg Press/Piet Zwart Institute 2014 and editor of the anthology on artistic knowledge No New Kind of Duck — Would I know how to say what I do?, Diaphanes & UdK Graduate School, Zurich-Berlin 2016.

This lecture is made possible by the Connective Conversations, Curator and Critic Tours and Lectures, a partnership between The Ford Family Foundation and the University of Oregon School of Art and Design.

 

lecture poster with lecture title

Jan VerwoertJan Jan Verwoert. Photo courtesy of the artist.

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About the Connective Conversations Series

Launched in 2010, Connective Conversations | Inside Oregon Art is a key element of The Ford Family Foundation’s Visual Arts Program, which honors interest in the visual arts by the late Mrs. Hallie Ford, a co-founder of the Foundation. The program brings professional curators and critics from outside the Northwest to conduct one-on-one studio visits with established artists, deliver lectures, and join in community conversations. Principal goals are to enhance the quality of artistic endeavors throughout the state by visual artists and visual arts institutions, and to improve Oregon’s visual arts ecology by making strategic investments in Oregon visual arts institutions. In 2015, the program partnership expanded to include Oregon College of Art and Craft and Reed College’s Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery. Connective Conversations | Inside Oregon Art program is organized by the University of Oregon College of Design in collaboration with The Ford Family Foundation and other partners.

Connective Conversations has brought notable curators to Oregon including George Baker, associate professor of art history at UCLA; Helen Molesworth, chief curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles; Suzanne Ramljak, curator of the American Federation of the Arts and Editor of Metalsmith magazine; Anne Ellegood, senior curator at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles; and Michael Darling, the James W. Alsdorf Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago.

The Ford Family Foundation's Visual Arts program honors the interests in the visual arts by Mrs. Hallie Ford. The principal goals are to help enhance the quality of artistic endeavor and body of work by Oregon's most promising visual artists and to improve Oregon's visual arts ecology by making strategic investments in Oregon visual arts institutions. In 2014, the program was extended through 2019. The Foundation supports a range of program components, among them Connective Conversations as part of the Curator and Critic Tours and Lectures Series during which it partners with regionally-based institutions to invite professionals from outside the Northwest to conduct one-on-one studio visits and to join in community conversations.

The Foundation is the sole funder of this multifaceted program but partners with Oregon's leading visual arts educators, gallerists, and museum and arts professionals in certain aspects of program delivery. Other components of the Foundation’s work include awarding annually of up to five $25,000 Hallie Ford Fellowships; artists-in-residence programs; support for exhibitions, catalogs and other forms of documentation; small capital projects; grants for unanticipated career opportunities; and providing funding to acquire seminal works by Oregon visual artists to preserve public access to them.

“We remain committed to advancing the work of and opportunities for Oregon’s established visual artists and the institutions that further their progress by exhibiting and preserving their art,” said Foundation President Anne C. Kubisch. “The Curator/Critic program provides perspective, feedback, and exposure that Oregon artists might not otherwise receive.”

In 2015, The Ford Family Foundation and the UO College of Design announced the addition of new host partners—Oregon College of Art and Craft and Reed College’s Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery—as part of the multiyear program that brings prominent curators and critics to Oregon to engage with visual artists statewide.

“There is great contemporary work in every imaginable medium produced here in Oregon, and there are an astonishing number of excellent practitioners working throughout the state,” says Kate Wagle, UO Department of Art professor and principal organizer of the Connective Conversations program for the UO College of Design.

Denise Mullen, president of Oregon College of Art and Craft, says her college is “honored to be a part of such an important catalyst to expand the discussion of contemporary art in Oregon. The contact with internationally known curators and critics for an artist is truly invaluable. For The Ford Family Foundation to nurture Oregon artists in this way embodies the spirit of the Foundation’s commitment to enrich our whole Oregon community.”

Stephanie Snyder, the John and Anne Hauberg Curator and Director of the Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery at Reed College, notes, "The Curator and Critics program is richly rewarding for Oregon's artists. As a program partner and visit organizer, I am honored to select visiting curators and organize their studio visits with Oregon artists. I've seen the impact of the program first-hand. It's vitally important."