Thursday, September 28, 2017, 5pm
Cochrane-Woods Art Center, Room 157, 5540 S Greenwood Ave
Serge Guilbaut is a leading Marxist art historian of postwar art in the United States and Europe. He is Professor Emeritus of Art History at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. Guilbaut’s book, How New York Stole the Idea of Modern Art: Abstract Expressionism, Freedom and the Cold War, first published by the University of Chicago Press in 1983, remains one of the most important and canonical texts on 20th century art. On the emerging cold war front in the late 1940s and early 1950s, Guilbaut argued, the postwar American abstract painting of artists such as Jackson Pollock was strategically coopted by US government agencies and museums, especially the Museum of Modern Art in New York, to propagate a capitalist ideology of freedom in Western Europe. As a result, the center of the art world shifted, for the very first time in history, to the United States. Guilbaut’s 2008 catalogue and anthology Be-Bomb: The Transatlantic War of Images and All That Jazz, 1946-1956 expanded on that early book and accompanied an exhibition at the Museu D’Art Contemporani de Barcelona. In retrospect, Guilbaut’s transatlantically oriented scholarship has become an important pre-history to the rise of the contemporary global art world.
Presented by the Department of Art History as part of the 2017/18 Smart lecture series supported by the Smart Family Foundation. The “Arts and the Nuclear Age” lecture series is supported by the Franke Institute for the Humanities.
Thursday, October 19, 2017, 4pm
Logan Center Screening Room 201, 915 E 60th St
Susan Courtney is a Professor of Film and Media Studies in the Department of English Language and Literature at the University of South Carolina. Her work investigates historical relationships between popular conceptions of identity (especially race, gender, region, and nation) and pervasive forms of moving image culture, ranging from cinema to television to contemporary media. Along with a wide range of articles, she is author of Hollywood Fantasies of Miscegenation: Spectacular Narratives of Gender and Race, 1903-1967 (2005) and, most recently, of Split Screen Nation: Moving Images of the American West and South (2017), a book which uses a range of moving image material to explore questions of race and region in light of the post-war context of the cold war, the atomic age, and the civil rights movement. A central concern of the book is the emergence of the idea of the “atomic age,” as it brings together not just feature films but also educational films, test footage, and related home movies of the era.
Presented by the Department of Cinema and Media Studies. The “Arts and the Nuclear Age” lecture series is supported by the Franke Institute for the Humanities.
Takako Arai and Jeffrey Angles
Wednesday, November 1, 2017, 5pm lecture | 6:30pm reading
Logan Center, Room 801, 915 E 60th St
Arai Takako was born in 1966 in Kiryū City, Gunma Prefecture to a family engaged in textile manufacturing, a traditional industry in Kiryū. Arai is known for writing socially engaged poetry. A frequent theme of her work is the lives of working women and the ways that they have been shaped by contemporary trends, especially the push toward globalization, the recent economic downturn, and the 2011 earthquake-related crises in northeastern Japan. Jeffrey Angles is a professor of Japanese and translation at Western Michigan University. He is the award-winning translator of dozens of Japan’s most important modern Japanese authors and poets, including Arai Takako. He also writes poetry, mostly in Japanese.
Presented by the Program in Poetry & Poetics, and supported by the Committee on Japanese Studies at the Center for East Asian Studies. The “Arts and the Nuclear Age” lecture series is supported by the Franke Institute for the Humanities.
Thursday, November 2, 2017, 4:30pm
Rosenwald Hall, Rm 405, 1101 E 58th St
Jessica Hurley works on twentieth and twenty-first century American literatures, with a particular focus on how narrative forms organize our literary, social, and infrastructural worlds. Her book manuscript, Infrastructures of the Apocalypse: American Literature and the Nuclear Complex, argues that existing accounts of the nuclear as a sublime paradox or a future threat occlude its very tangible operations in the present, as budgets, laws, environments, and other quotidian infrastructures are formed and deformed by the state’s commitment to nuclear technology.
Presented by the Department of English and the Society of Fellows. The “Arts and the Nuclear Age” lecture series is supported by the Franke Institute for the Humanities.
Friday, November 17, 2017, 3:30pm
Fulton Recital Hall, Goodspeed Hall, 1010 E 59th St
Phil Ford is Associate Professor of Musicology at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. His published work has focused on postwar American popular music (especially jazz and film music), American cold war culture, radical and counter–cultural intellectual history, and sound and performance. He is the author of Dig: Sound and Music in Hip Culture (Oxford University Press, 2013), a cultural and intellectual history of hipness in American life from the 1940s through the 1960s situated in the context of American intellectual engagement with the Cold War. He is also the co-author (with Jonathan Bellman) of the musicology blog Dial ‘M’ for Musicology, which he founded in 2006 and maintains to this day. His current interests revolve around music and philosophy and, more particularly, on magical and occult styles of thought; at present, he is working on a book on this topic.
Presented by the Department of Music. The “Arts and the Nuclear Age” lecture series is supported by the Franke Institute for the Humanities.
Thursday, November 30, 2017, 7pm
Logan Center Screening Room 201, Logan Center for the Arts, 915 E 60th St
A screening and talk by British visual artist Simon Starling as part of the University–wide CP–1 commemoration. Since emerging from the Glasgow art scene in the early 1990s, Simon Starling has established himself as one of the leading artists of his generation, working in a wide variety of media (film, installation, photography) to interrogate the histories of art and design, scientific discoveries, and global economic and ecological issues, among other subjects. The recipient of the 2005 Turner Prize, Starling has had major exhibitions in Kunsthallen and museums throughout the world, and his work can be found in the collections of some of the world’s leading art institutions. Starling will screen two of his recent films, Project for a Masquerade (Hiroshima) (2010), a complex multi-media installation, in part on a quintessential Chicago story concerning the early days of nuclear energy development and the monument designed by Henry Moore commemorating its discovery, and another film related to the Masquerade titled, At Twilight. Joshua Abrams and his group, Natural Information Society, will perform live to the Hawk Dance, which is part of At Twilight. For Project for a Masquerade (Hiroshima), Starling has connected the idea of the mask to Japanese Noh theater and worked with a Noh mask-maker, Yasuo Miichi, in Osaka to create a set of masks that fuse traditional Noh masks with characters both historical and fictional who were contemporary to Moore.
Presented by the Arts, Science & Culture Initiative, the Gray Center for Arts & Inquiry, the Department of Visual Arts, and the Film Studies Center. The “Arts and the Nuclear Age” lecture series is supported by the Franke Institute for the Humanities.
Friday, December 1, 2017, 12pm
Artis Cai Guo-Qiang in conversation with Wu Hung, Harrie A. Vanderstappen Distinguished Service Professor of Art History, East Asian Languages and Civilizations, and the College; Director of the Center for the Art of East Asia; and Consulting Curator at the Smart Museum of Art. Born in Guanzhou near the Taiwan Straits in 1957, Cai began painting with gunpowder in 1986, a material whose destructive and creative potential makes it a perfect analog for nuclear fission. His artistic experimentation with the form of the mushroom cloud grew out of this work, and he began making small mushroom clouds from a hand-held mortar at meaningful locations, including the Nevada Test Site and the Statue of Liberty. Cai’s mushroom clouds take nuclear energy’s most destructive form and animate it with sublime visual pleasure, demanding we confront the duality of the power unlocked in 1942.
Presented by UChicago Arts. The “Arts and the Nuclear Age” lecture series is supported by the Franke Institute for the Humanities.
Arts and the Nuclear Age: 1942 | 1967 | 2017
Saturday, December 2, 2017, 4:15-6:15pm | Reception immediately following
Reynolds Club, McCormick Tribune Lounge, 5706 S University Ave
The culminating lectures for the 75th anniversary of the Chicago Pile-1 experiment and the concurrent 50th anniversary of the unveiling of Henry Moore's Nuclear Energy sculpture. Features talks by eminent Moore scholar (and former Henry Moore Foundation Research Curator at Tate) Anne Wagner, architect Ludovico Centis, and principals Luke Ogrydziak and Zoe Prillinger from California-based firm Ogrydziak Prillinger Architects (the design team behind Nuclear Thresholds, the temporary architectural installation on the CP-1 site). For more information on the December 2 events, click the "December 2, 2017" title to expand the schedule.
Presented by UChicago Arts and the Department of Art History. "Arts and the Nuclear Age: 1942 | 1967 | 2017" is made possible by the Division of the Humanities, the Nicholson Center for British Studies, and the Gray Center for Arts & Inquiry.