UCSB Art, Design & Architecture Museum Exhibitions Examine Art and Politics

Four fall exhibitions, each exploring the intersection of art and politics, will open Oct. 19 at UC Santa Barbara’s Art, Design & Architecture Museum. An opening reception will take place on Friday, Oct. 25, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the museum.

“Freedom Now!” showcases photographs rarely seen in mainstream media, which depict the power wielded by black men, women and children in remaking United States society through their activism. The exhibition has been curated by Martin Berger, professor of history of art and visual culture at UC Santa Cruz.

Berger will discuss the images, which illustrate the action, heroism and strength of black activists in driving social and legislative change, in a Gallery Talk on Friday, Oct. 25, at 4 p.m. at the museum.

The exhibition “Year of Rebellion” documents a tumultuous 12 months in Isla Vista, when activists and protesters demonstrated against the Vietnam War and UCSB policies. The violent and nonviolent confrontations of 1970 resulted in the burning of the Bank of America, one death, hundreds of arrests and increased student involvement in UC governance.

Joseph S. Melchione, then the undergraduate photo editor of El Gaucho, the student newspaper at the time, documented these large-scale student movements with his first camera. The exhibition will feature Melchione’s suite of photographs accompanied by issues of the newspaper in which they first appeared and flyers produced by student organizations, presenting the year of rebellion through a student lens. This exhibition has been curated by Chris Marino, project archivist for the museum’s Architecture and Design Collection.

A panel discussion moderated by Richard Flacks, UCSB professor emeritus of sociology, will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 6. The time and location have yet to be announced.

The exhibition “Art and Its Discontents” employs playful, serious and innovative means of addressing artists’ discontent with issues surrounding political figures and politics, identity, gender and race. Drawn largely from the museum’s permanent collection, the exhibition focuses on the vital role art continues to play in highlighting and combating abuses of power, stereotypes, inequality and suppression. This exhibition has been curated by Elyse A. Gonzales, the museum’s curator of exhibitions.

Among the artists represented are Laylah Ali, Dotty Attie, Gretchen Bender, Nancy Dwyer, Lyle Ashton Harris, Hung Liu, Rachel Lachowicz, Gordon Matta-Clark, Raymond Pettibon, Lari Pittman, Ellen Rothenberg, Ben Sakoguchi, Ilene Segalove, Paul Shambroom, Travis Somerville, Fred Wilson and David Wojnarowicz.

“Ambiguous Histories: Selected Works from the Exit Art Portfolios” explores contemporary artists’ use of history through their references to traditional artistic processes and canonical works of art and architecture. Curated by UCSB alumna Anna Muriello (’13), the exhibition highlights a recent gift of works from Exit Art, a now-closed alternative art space that provided a platform for multicultural or emerging artist to respond to critical and controversial contemporary issues.

The four exhibitions continue through Dec. 13.

Also opening at the museum this fall is “Artist-in-Residence: Fran Siegel, Translocation and Overlay,” an installation that examines the landscape, history and current state of the Santa Barbara region through 50 unique drawings and related porcelain components. Siegel’s drawings, based on typical and atypical data sets from different time periods, are related to items such as topography, rock distributions, population dispersals, migratory pathways and even the location of swimming pools. This exhibition also has been curated by Gonzales.

“Translocation and Overlay” will continue through April 19. Siegel will discuss the commissioned project in a Gallery Talk on Wednesday, Nov. 20, at 5:30 p.m. at the museum.

Currently on view at the AD&A Museum @ Jane Deering Gallery, 128 E. Canon Perdido St. in Santa Barbara, is “POP: Politics of Place,” which brings together a selection of works that demonstrate the politically charged nature of real and imagined sites. Artists include Kim Abeles, Liam Jones, Isabella Kirkland, Barrie Mottishaw, Enoc Perez, Fran Siegel and LA Fine Arts Squad. The exhibition continues through Dec. 21.

More information about the exhibitions and associated events is available at www.museum.ucsb.edu. Questions can be directed to (805) 893-2951.

Art, Design & Architecture Museum hours are Wednesday through Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. The Jane Deering Gallery is open Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m.


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