As its last major exhibition of the fall 2009 semester, the College is presenting “Octet: Codes and Contexts in Recent Art,” a survey of 111 works by 66 artists from SVA. Curated by BFA Fine Arts Department Chair Suzanne Anker and faculty member Peter Hristoff, the show offers a multi-generational response to current trends in contemporary artistic practice. The selected works reflect the preponderance of available influences in a global, media-driven society, where technology allows for instantaneous transmission of culture and access to an enormous data bank of shared images and ideas. Reflecting the diverse roster of participating artists, “Octet” is divided into eight thematic sections: Word and Image; Identity and Identity Politics; Post Pop Art and Tabloid Culture; The Corporeal and Divine; Material Matters; Narrative Imperatives; World Dramas; and Relational Aesthetics. According to Anker, “In our global world where the familiar can seem foreign and the foreign sometimes overtly familiar, borders have become exceedingly porous between cultures and communities. ‘Octet’ presents an amalgam of stylistic concerns as a way to present the dynamic flow of advancing patterns within the visual arts.”
The exhibition is on view at the Visual Arts Gallery, 601 West 26th Street, 15th floor, through Wednesday, December 23, with an opening reception on Thursday, December 3, 6 – 8pm. In conjunction with “Octet,” the department also presented a panel discussion entitled Modernism and the Global Diaspora, with Thelma Golden, Hou Hanru, Susan Hefuna, Vasif Kortun and David Ross, on December 1 at the SVA Theatre; video of the event will be posted on iTunesU.
Image: Kara Rooney, At the Banquet of Alphabetic Form 1, 2008.