Center for Ethics

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Art, Artists and Responsibility
November 2001 - April 2002

 

Artistic expression raises a number of provocative questions about the nature of responsibility. "Art, Artists and Responsibility," sponsored by the Center for Ethics, is a series of presentations focusing on our responsibilities for, and to, artistic creation.

Guerrilla Girls
Wednesday, November 7 • 8 p.m. • Miller Forum, Moyer Hall

The Guerrilla Girls are an anonymous group of women artists, writers, performers and filmmakers who fight discrimination.

Here's what the Guerrilla Girls say about themselves:

Guerrilla Girls - your cultural conscience"Dubbing ourselves the conscience of culture, we declare ourselves counterparts to the mostly male tradition of anonymous do-gooders like Robin Hood, Batman, and the Lone Ranger. We wear gorilla masks to focus on the issues rather than our personalities. We use humor to convey information, provoke discussion, and show that feminists can be funny. In sixteen years we have produced over 80 posters, printed projects, and actions that expose sexism and racism in the worlds of art, film, theater and in the culture at large. Our work has been passed around the world by kindred spirits who consider themselves Guerrilla Girls too. The mystery surrounding our identities has attracted attention and support. We could be anyone; we are everywhere."

The Los Angeles Times calls the Guerrilla Girls "the anonymous avengers who have been wagin clever yet scathing poster campaigns against the art world's ongoing sexism and racism."

The Guerrilla Girls' performance promises to be an exciting, inspired, and unique educational experience. It is free and open to the public.


The Ethics of Art Restoration: A Presentation by James Janowski and Sharon Koehler
Thursday, November 15 • 4-6 p.m. • Hoffman House

James Janowski, an Associate Professor of Philosophy at Hampden-Sydney College since 1995, will give a lecture titled "A Case for Aesthetic Interventionism-or Why We Should Save Crumbling Art."

His talk will raise some of the philosophical questions that arise in thinking about the treatment of artworks. Marking off a space in the debate between "purists" and those who defend "integral" restoration, he will argue that intervening on behalf of an artwork, though not metaphysically and morally cost-free, is under certain circumstances quite appropriate. Janowski's teaching interests include aesthetics, ethic (both theoretical and applied), and social-political philosophy.

Sharon Koehler will give a slideshow presentation titled "Caring for Art: The Hands-on Treatment of Objects On-site and in the Lab." As an objects conservator and a member of the American Institute for Conservation, she has operated a private practice completing projects for individuals, institutions, and municipalities throughout the country.

Koehler's slideshow will document a number of the projects she has completed during her twenty years as a conservator. Her presentation will highlight some of the considerations, both practical and theoretical, that an objects conservator faces in her day-to-day work.

This presentation is free and open to the public.


James E. Young "Memory, Counter-memory, and the End of the Monument"
Monday, February 18, 2001 • 8 p.m. • Miller Forum, Moyer Hall

James E. Young, Professor of English and Judaic Studies at the University of Massachusetts, will give a lecture on "Memory, Counter-Memory, and the End of the Monument," Monday, February 18, 8 p.m., in the Miller Forum.

Young is the author of Writing and Rewriting the Holocaust (1988), the National Jewish Book Award winner, Texture of Memory (Yale University Press, 1993), and At a Memory's Edge: After-images of the Holocaust in Contemporary Art and Architecture (Yale University Press, 2000). He was also the Guest Curator of an exhibition at the Jewish Museum in New York City, entitled "The Art Memory: Holocaust Memorials in History" (March - August 1994, with venues in Berlin and Munich, September 1994 - June 1995) and was the editor of The Art of Memory (Prestel Verlag, 1994); the exhibition catalogue for this show.

Young has been the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, ACLS Fellowship, NEH Exhibition Planning, implementation, and research grants, Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture Grants, an American Philosophical Society Grant, and a Yad Hanadiv Fellowship at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

Following the presentation, Dr. Young will sign copies of his books, which will be available in the Muhlenberg bookstore in January and February.


Film: "The Wonderful, Horrible Life of Leni Riefenstahl"
Thursday, March 14, 2002 • 7 p.m. • Lithgow Science Auditorium, Trumbower Hall

This 1993 documentary film features the life and artistry of Leni Riefenstahl who is known as the groundbreaking director of Hitler's propaganda films. The film provides a unique opportunity to view the artist, who has been labeled a Nazi sympathizer and a creator of powerful, lasting art. The documentary will also highlight Riefenstahl's role as a willing architect in the creation of Nazi Mythology.

The film showing is free and open to the public.

"Pentecost": A Play by David Edgar
April 19-28, 2002 • Dorothy Hess Baker Theatre, Trexler Pavilion

"Pentecost" is a play highlighting the journey of a Yugoslav art historian and an English museum curator who are working to restore a famous fresco in an abandoned village church in the Balkans. Their efforts raise specific questions of complicity and identity when confronted by a world of refugees, borders, hostage-taking, and violence resulting from the breakup of Bosnia.
Tickets are available through the box office, 484-664-3333.

"Pentecost" Panel Discussion
Thursday, April 25, 2002 • 6 p.m. • Recital Hall

Participants in the production as well as other members of the Muhlenberg community will address the artistic, historical, and political themes of "Pentecost" in the panel discussion, Thursday, April 25, 6 p.m.