Have We Met: Dialogues on Memory and Desire
This virtual visit to the Stamps Gallery on Division Street celebrates Ann Arbor’s legacy of social movements and experimental art practices from the late-1950s to the 1970s. Materials from U-M’s Labadie Collection and the Bentley Historical Library are displayed alongside radical artworks influenced by the ideas of freedom and self-determination.
Student power, 2018
Artist, curator, and designer Josh Macphee culled through hundreds of paperback books published at the height of the civil rights and anti-war movements of the 1960s and ’70s to create Student Power, 2018. The accessible and inexpensive paperback helped mobilize the ideas of justice, liberation, and racial integration at the time. Here, Stamps professor Jim Cogswell talks with gallery visitor.
Black Power, 2018
Josh MacPhee’s second installation for the show, titled Black Power, 2018, is shown here. MacPhee is an artist, curator, and activist living in Brooklyn, NY. He graduated from Oberlin College in 1996 and spent eight years as an artist and activist in Chicago, where he established the Justseeds Artists’ Cooperative to distribute radical art projects to the public.
Sprucing up Division
Jane Prophet (center), the newly appointed associate dean of research at the Stamps School of Art & Design, with her husband, David Richardson, and Stamps professor and artist Carole Jacobsen (right) enjoy the new Stamps Gallery at 201 S. Division St. in downtown Ann Arbor.
Artist Brendan Fernandes’ I Am Old Enough to Know What We Lost grieves the mass murder of 49 people gunned down in a queer nightclub in Orlando in 2016. Fernandes is collaborating with U-M dance students to present the performance Emergency Rave on Nov. 9 at 8 p.m. at Ann Arbor’s Neutral Zone.
Have We Met brings together archival materials and reproductions from the U-M Library’s Labadie Collection of Social Protest and photographs from the U-M Bentley Historical Library. The exhibit showcases diverse, multigenerational artists and designers who use art to rewrite the canonical accounts of history and build contemporary culture and solidarity through collective action.
These untitled paintings by Rudolf Baranik (1920–98) are culled from the artist’s powerful series, “Napalm Elegies,” made in response to the atrocities of the Vietnam War. Between 1967-74, Baranik created some 30 paintings based on a newspaper image of a Vietnamese child badly burned by napalm. Pictured here are Stamps Dean Gunalan Nadarajan and Marc Stieglitz of the Dean’s Advisory Council.
Activists and ink
Artist, writer, and curator Greg Sholette has documented four decades of activist art that has impacted our contemporary culture. These works on paper are quick ink drawings that record specific events staged by such groups as Occupy Museums in Berlin; Decolonize this Place at the Metropolitan Museum in New York; and Gulf Labour Group in Abu Dhabi.
Born in Detroit in 1935, Al Loving studied painting at U-M before moving to New York in 1968 where he famously became the first African-American to have a one-person show at the Whitney Museum of American Art. This iconic work from the 1980s dispensed with notions of centralized composition, figure/ground separation, and pictorial frame altogether.
In 1967, Emory Douglas became the “Revolutionary Artist” and Minister of Culture for the Black Panther Party. The exhibition features prints that originally appeared in the organization’s newsletter, as well as more recent prints that resonate with such contemporary movements as Black Lives Matter.
Srimoyee Mitra, director of the Stamps Gallery and curator of the exhibition, welcomes visitors to the Division Street space.
Detroit rock city
Photographer Leni Sinclair was born in Koenigsberg, East Prussia, and raised on a Collective Farm in the former East Germany. She escaped and emigrated to Detroit before the Berlin Wall was built. In the early 1960s, she helped organize the Detroit Artists Workshop. Her photographs in the exhibit (shot between 1965-75) showcase concerts, artist workshops, and peaceful civil rights protests in Detroit.
Talking about a revolution
Artists Greg Sholette, Josh Macphee, Brendan Fernandes, and Maren Hassinger (whose work is featured in this photo) will visit Ann Arbor for “Talking About a Revolution: Art, Design and the Institution” on Nov. 9-10. The free symposium was developed in conjunction with the exhibition.
Art in action
In his new work Prussian Blue (Ping Pong Parlour) Table, 2018, Buster Simpson, MFA ’68, pays homage to the experimental artist collective, the Once Group. Formed while he was a student in Ann Arbor, the group presented innovative and one-time performances, including The Joy Ride Interchange, created by George Manupelli and performed with Joseph Wehrer. The piece featured a ping-pong table, which inspired Simpson to produce an interactive experience that would transform the gallery into a lively meeting space. On Nov. 9, at 4.30 p.m., the Stamps Gallery will host a table-tennis tournament at ArtsEngine’s ConFabCafe event.