CONTACT: PETER ALEXANDER
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0072; fax (319) 384-0024
'NO!art' conference and activist film festival will be part of the
UI 'Global Focus' March 4-6
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A conference on "NO!art and the Aesthetics of
Doom," and a concurrent festival of activist independent films from
the 1960s, will be presented on the University of Iowa campus March 4-6
by a collaborative network of organizations at the University of Iowa and
the Anthology Film Archive in New York City.
Events that are open to the public free of charge will include an opening
session at 8 p.m. Thursday, March 4 in the Carver Gallery of the Museum
of Art; conference sessions throughout the day Friday , March 5 in the
Carver Gallery; and film screenings at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday,March
5 and 6 in Room 101 of the UI Becker Communication Studies Building.
The conference and film festival are part of "Global Focus: Human
Rights '98," the UI's year-long celebration of the 50th anniversary
of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. UI organizations collaborating
on these events are the Museum of Art, University Libraries, Alternative
Traditions in the Contemporary Arts and the Institute for Cinema and Culture.
During the mid-century, the NO!art Collective, a pivotal group of activist
artists and poets in New York, responded to the aftermath of the Holocaust
and the bombing of Hiroshima, the atomic crisis and the commodification
of women in the mass media.
Unlike the apolitical detachment of other artistic trends of the time,
including abstraction and pop art, the NO!art Collective -- also known
as the March Group -- attempted to integrate personal and social protest
into a new form of artistic expression. The confrontational work of the
group was a direct response to the Cold War era and the horror of the recent
past, particularly the Nazi genocide in World War II.
Speakers at the conference during the day on Friday will discuss various
aspects of the NO!art Collective and the work of its members. Topics will
include "NO! and the Holocaust Memory in Germany" and the work
of Holocaust survivor and NO!art co-fonder Boris Lurie, in a paper subtitled
"Self Representation in the Wake of the Holocaust."
The film festival will present the work of other political activists
of the post-war period, including anti-Vietnam war activists. "Angry
Arts Against War in Vietnam," at 8 p.m. Friday in Room 101 of the
Becker Communication Studies Building, is a film collage of short films
by more than 50 independent film makers, created in 1967. The UI screening
will be the first showing of the film since its premiere at the Judson
Memorial Church in New York in 1967. Other films will feature 1960s-era
figures including Timothy Leary, Allen Ginsberg and four American sailors
who deserted in protest against the war in Vietnam.
The UI is also currently presenting three exhibitions that are related
to the conference and film festival. An exhibition of works by artist Boris
Lurie will be on view in the UI Museum of Art through March 7 in the museum's
South River gallery. Lurie, born in 1924, was incarcerated at the age of
17 and transported to various ghettos, labor camps and Nazi concentration
camps including Riga, Lenta, Stutthoh and Buchenwald. After being liberated
from Buchenwald in April of 1945, Lurie emigrated to the United States.
A decade later he became co-founder of the NO!art Collective.
An exhibition of political posters from the 1960s and 1970s will be
on view at the UI Museum of Art through Sunday, March 7, in the Works on
Paper gallery. The exhibition, "The Artists' Poster Committee: A Decade
of Political Art," is representative of a large body of political
posters compiled in the 1970s by the Artists' Poster Committee.
Finally, "Latin American Realities/International Solutions"
is a virtual exhibition that recreates a significant 1972 exhibition of
politically motivated art from Latin America. Organized as a collaborative
project among three UI organizations -- Alternative Traditions in the Contemporary
Arts, University Libraries and the UI Museum of Art -- it can be accessed
"Global Focus: Human Rights '98" is a cross-disciplinary program
of teaching, research and action of the UI and its surrounding communities
designed to address the problems and prospects of human rights as the 21st
century approaches. The program features distinguished speakers, scholarly
lectures, panel discussions, published research, curricular innovations,
community forums, radio broadcasts, artistic displays, theatrical events,
films and musical offerings.
Global Focus has included visits by Chinese dissident Wei Jingsheng;
human rights lawyer Jerome Shestack, president of the American Bar Association;
Cambodian "Killing Fields" photographer Dith Pran; and Nobel
laureates Elie Wiesel and Desmond Tutu. For more information, visit the
Global Focus website at < http://www.uiowa.edu/~hr98/>
The conference and film festival were funded by the National Endowment
for the Arts, the UI Cultural Affairs Council, Council on the Status of
Women, Museum of Art, University Libraries and the Institute for Cinema
* * *
NO!art and the Aesthetics of Doom
An Anthology of Activist North American Cinema from the 1960s
| Thursday March 4|
Carver Gallery, University of Iowa Museum of Art
| 8 p.m.
|| Conference Opening Remarks and Video screening: Ray Wisniewski, "NO!art,"
1963, "A Conversation with Gerturde Stein," Gallery Gerturde
Stein, New York|
| Friday, March 5|
Carver Gallery, University of Iowa Museum of Art
| 10 a.m.
| 10:30 a.m.
|| Estera Milman, the University of Iowa Alternative Traditions in the Contemporary
Arts, "NO!art and the Aesthetics of Doom"|
| 11:15 a.m.
|| Rainer Rumold, Northwestern University Department of German, "NO!art
and the Dialectic of Enlightenment"|
| 12 noon
|| Lunch break|
| 1 p.m.
|| Susan Chevlowe, The Jewish Museum, New York, "Boris Lurie: Self Representation
in the Wake of the Holocaust"|
| 1:45 p.m.
|| Charles Vernoff, Cornell College Department of Religion, "An Intersection
of Holocaust Post-Modernism with Americanist Post-Millennialism: The Spiritual
Coordinates of the NO! Collective"|
| 2:30 p.m.
|| Kurt Germundson, the University of Iowa School of Art and Art History,
"NO! and the Holocaust Memory in Germany"|
| 3:15 p.m.
| 3:30 p.m.
|| Daniel A. Siedell, Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery and Sculpture Garden, the
University of Nebraska, "Doom and the Triumph of American Painting"|
| 4:15 p.m.
|| Stephen C. Foster, the University of Iowa School of Art and Art History,
"Aesthetics of Freedom: NO! and the Political Construction of the
| Room 101, Becker Communications Studies Building|
| 8 p.m.
|| Film Festival Program 1:|
|| "Angry Arts Against War in Vietnam: A Collage Film by Over 50 American
Film Makers," 1967|
| Saturday, March 6|
Room 101, Becker Communications Studies Building
| 8 p.m.
|| Film Festival Program 2:|
|| "Newsreels" 1967-68: "Four American Sailors," "The
Christmas Mill-In," "The Boston Draft Resistance Group,"
|| "Three Short Films by Jonas Meekas: Report from Millbrook" (1965/66),
Notes of a Conversation with Timothy Leary; "Street Songs" (1966/83),
from "Mysteries and Smaller Places," performed by the Living
Theatre; and "Hare Krishna" (1966), soundtrack courtesy Allen
Ginsberg and Peter Orlovsky.|