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Public Lecture: Rebecca Zorach (Northwestern University)

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Placeholding: The Tamir Rice Gazebo and the Racialized Landscape of Leisure

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This talk takes as its starting point Theaster Gates’s South Side Chicago installation of the gazebo removed from a park in Cleveland where twelve-year-old Tamir Rice was murdered by Cleveland police. In the chapter, I contextualize the gazebo by examining the place of gardens and garden structures in American cultural history, particularly in relation to Cleveland’s racialized landscape; to Atlantic histories of race, land, and leisure; and to the “eastern” exoticism implied by the term “gazebo” and its history.

Rebecca Zorach is Mary Jane Crowe Professor in Art and Art History at Northwestern University. She teaches and writes on early modern European art, contemporary activist art, and art of the 1960s and ’70s, with particular interests in print media and murals, feminist and queer theory, and the Black Arts Movement. Zorach coedited The Wall of Respect: Public Art and Black Liberation in 1960s Chicago (Northwestern University Press, 2017) with Abdul Alkalimat and Romi Crawford, and is the author of Art for People’s Sake: Artists, Community, and Black Chicago 1965–75 (Duke University Press, 2019).

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Organiser Summer School Art History

Organiser of Public Lecture: Rebecca Zorach (Northwestern University)

In recent years, the multifaceted role of the curator in museums, exhibition spaces, and cultural heritage sites has expanded significantly. Curators are expected to produce innovative scholarship, invent new fundraising formats, digitize collections, collaborate with artists, and engage with society in order to rethink the museum as a sustainable place for the future. They have also moved from traditional institutional contexts to include public spaces as a site of curation.

In 2021, our successful summer school series “The Knowledge of the Curator” centres on the increasing interest in curatorial projects that cross the boundaries between art and nature. Can artistic interventions forge meaningful relationships between humans and nature? What is the history of curating beyond museum walls? Can contemporary art enhance ecological awareness and local identities? What are the characteristics and challenges of ‘landscape-based’ curating and can the environment be curated at all?

Intended for art historians preparing for a career in museums, cultural institutions, or academia, as well as active professionals in those fields, this course is devoted to the knowledge, expertise, and skills required to meet the challenge of curating art and the environment.

Organized by the Department of History of Art, Architecture & Landscape.

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