SVA’s ‘Art in the First Person’ Spring 2013 Lecture Series

January 9, 2013

Running from January 15 through April 23, SVA’s Spring 2013 “Art in the First Person” lecture series brings together notable artists, critics, curators and historians for over a dozen in-depth discussions on issues related to contemporary art.

On January 15 at 7pm at 136 West 21 Street, Room 418F, photographers Amy Stein (MFA 2006 Photography, Video and Related Media) and Stacy Mehrfar discuss Tall Poppy Syndrome (Decode, 2013), their published project exploring the relationship between the individual and the group in Australian society—specifically, the phenomenon of successful people, or “tall poppies,” getting cut down to size. An exhibition of work from the project is on view January 10 – February 16 at ClampArt, New York.

When art is made or used as a tool of social or political activism, is it still best described as “art”? The panel discussion “Does It Need to Be Called Art?” on January 29 at 7pm at the SVA Theatre, 333 West 23 Street, brings together artist Maureen Connor, academic and activist Stephen Duncombe, curator and Percent for Art Director Sara Reisman and artist and urban designer Damon Rich for a discussion on the topic. Moderated by critic and curator Saul Ostrow.

On February 5 at 7pm at 209 East 23 Street, 3rd-floor Ampitheater, Moscow-born painter and performance artist Vitaly Komar—former collaborator with Alexander Melamid, with whom he co-founded the Sots Arts movement in 1972—discusses his experiences as an artist in Russia and in the West.

Photographer Phillip Toledano is equally at home in fine-art and commercial arenas. On February 12 at 7pm at 136 West 21 Street, Room 418F, he discusses his images, which engage with both intimate concerns and the ramifications of global politics; have appeared in publications such as Esquire, Interview, The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, the London Times, Vanity Fair and Wallpaper; and have also earned him a cult following.

On March 26 at 7pm at 136 West 21 Street, Room 418F, photographer Doug Menuez talks about Fearless Genius, a 15-year documentary project in Silicon Valley with Steve Jobs and other innovators during the digital revolution in the ’80s and ’90s. Menuez’s 30-year career has encompassed photojournalism, commissioned work and personal projects that explore and reflect the struggles and joys of the human condition.

And on April 4 at 7pm at 209 East 23 Street, 3rd-floor Amphitheater, artist and SVA faculty member Alice Aycock discusses Park Avenue Paper Chase, a multi-part, painted aluminum sculpture series that will be installed on several blocks in midtown Manhattan in 2014.

Most “Art in the First Person” events are free and open to the public. For a complete schedule of lectures, exhibitions and other public programs organized by the College, please visit

Images (from top down): Cover of Tall Poppy Syndrome by Amy Stein and Stacy Arezou Mehrfar; photo by Phillip Toledano; photo of Steve Jobs by Doug Menuez.



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