The Herndon Gallery at Antioch College is pleased to announce the upcoming exhibition Unpacking the Archives: Frameworks for Change—Activate Now! The exhibition will open on June 3 and will run through August 15, 2014. This exhibition, co-curated by Dennie Eagleson, creative director of the Herndon Gallery, and Raewyn Martyn, visiting professor of visual arts, is a collaborative exhibit gathering stories and images of change-making from Antioch College students, alumni, staff, and faculty.
Unpacking the Archives: Frameworks for Change—Activate Now! hopes to advance creative dialogue on activism—both historical and contemporary—at Antioch College. Alongside the shared archives, the exhibition features the work of two invited artists, Stephen Marc and Ken Jacobs. The gallery will host an opening reception and artist talk by Stephen Marc on Friday, July 11, 2014 at 7:30 p.m.
This exhibition grew out of a desire and a curiosity by current students to understand Antioch’s history and to connect with that past. Jane Foreman ’17 wrote: “We’re constantly told that we’re here to rebuild an institution, one that meant a lot to people and has taken a lot of energy to get back on its feet. It seems natural to be curious about what it is that we’re rebuilding, especially when a lot of us are here due to an interest in the history of this place. Activate Now! is compelling for me because it provides a way for current students to connect with the people who came before us, who might have had similar interests, been involved in successful independent groups, or even made a tangible difference at Antioch and in the world at least in part because of their experience here.”
For this exhibition, community members have submitted personal archives, books, or imaginative works that may broaden understanding of Antioch’s history, and future as a community that embraces “an optimistic view of the possibilities in social change” (Algo Henderson 1946). Included in the exhibition is a change-makers’ “reading nook” that includes material written by Antioch alumni: zines, manifestos, and ephemera from across the decades that document the process of education and movement to action in civil rights, women’s, LGBT, and other struggles. Contemporary projects include the Native Plant Restoration Project, led by Linda Fuselier, associate professor of environmental sciences, and student contributions on the work of the Antioch Farm and The Scallion, a student publication.
Two highly established artists who work with archival materials anchor the exhibition. Stephen Marc, a photographer and digital artist, creates compelling large-scale narratives using archival materials merged with contemporary images of place and struggle connected to the Underground Railroad, emancipation, and the civil rights movement. Marc is currently a professor at Arizona State University School of Art, having previously taught at Columbia College in Chicago for 20 years. He is the recipient of several national awards and has published three books, including Urban Notions (1983) and Passage on the Underground Railroad (2009). His Underground Railway project is a University at Buffalo Galleries’ traveling exhibition.
Films by Ken Jacobs will also be featured within the exhibition. Jacobs, a pioneer in the creative use of archival images, is one of few living artists whose work has been recognized by the Library of Congress as a part of the National Film Registry. A distinguished professor emeritus and founder of the cinema department at SUNY Binghamton, Jacobs' work has shown at MOMA, the Louvre, the Getty Center, and other venues.
On Friday, June 13, 2014, at 8:00 p.m. in the Herndon Gallery, there will be an exchange between current students and alumni around strategies for change-making. The public is welcome. The opening reception and artist talk on July 11, 2014 is also free and open to the public. Further student-initiated events connected to the current exhibition will be publicized during the summer.