Nov 15, 2020, 3PM–4PM

Coffee & Conversation: Aesthetic of the Cool: Yara and the Camera in Milford Graves’s A Mind-Body Deal

Image courtesy of the artist.

Milford Graves has amassed an extraordinary archive of video recordings and photographs–only a small portion of which are featured in Milford Graves: A Mind-Body Deal. Blending different forms of martial arts and West African dance, in the 1970s Graves created his own martial artform called Yara, a Yoruba word meaning “nimble” or “flexible.” This unique form of movement embodies the spirit of improvisation, discovery, and collaboration reflected in all aspects of his life. Join University of Pennsylvania graduate students Tyler Shine and Amrita Stützle for a discussion of Graves’s distinctive archival practice, how the camera functions in his work, and the expressive gestures of Yara. All are welcome to participate in the conversation.

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Student Bios

Tyler Shine is a doctoral student in Art History studying twentieth-century art and architecture with particular interest in the African diaspora. He studied Art History at the University of Pittsburgh (BA) and the University of Maryland, College Park (MA). Before coming to Penn, he was the Constance E. Clayton Fellow in the Department of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Previously, he worked at The Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C. and the Carnegie Museum of Art.

Amrita Stützle is an Austrian born artist and educator with a focus in lens-based media. Her practice dissects contemporary and historical aspects of her identity, exploring themes of femininity, labor, and power. She was a 2019 Magenta Foundation top 100 Emerging Photographers winner, a participant of the 2018 NY Times Portfolio Review, and a fellow in the Saltonstall Artist-in-Residence program. Amrita received her BFA in Art Photography from Syracuse University and is currently pursuing her MFA at the University of Pennsylvania.

About Coffee & Conversation

Coffee & Conversation are discussions led by graduate students from the University of Pennsylvania’s History of Art and Weitzman School of Design departments. For the fall exhibition season, this iteration will involve the students working in tandem. Through their unique perspectives as practitioners and researchers, they offer different approaches to consider the various facets that go into the formation of an exhibition and the artist’s process, creating entry points along the way for the audience to be involved in the conversation on a personal level.


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