This winter, the Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania will mount three exhibitions that challenge convention and offer alternative narratives for reframing and responding to social and political issues.
“We are thrilled to present this incredible range of thought-provoking exhibitions and to create a space for our audiences that confronts some of the most pressing issues of our time, fostering dialogue around pre-established notions on race and culture,” says Amy Sadao, Director of ICA. “The Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania remains committed to being at the forefront of representing topical, relevant, and fearless programming that champions under-represented artists and perspectives that break boundaries.”
Introducing Tony Conrad: A Retrospective
Introducing Tony Conrad: A Retrospective marks the first large-scale museum survey devoted entirely to pieces originally presented by the artist in museum and gallery settings. A pioneering artist who helped define American avant-garde in the 1960s and challenged barriers between different mediums through radical deconstruction and experimentation, the exhibition offers a unique opportunity to experience six decades of Conrad’s work. Exhibiting a wide range of seminal pieces, the presentation will expand and deepen an understanding of his experimental and ground-breaking practice, which is primarily associated with his contributions to minimal music and structural film in the 1960s. Bringing together sculpture, painting, film, video, performance, and installation, Introducing Tony Conrad will create a sensory experience that invokes the participatory and performative approach of the artist.
Cecilia Vicuña: About to Happen
Marking the first major solo exhibition of influential Chilean-born artist Cecilia Vicuña, the multidisciplinary presentation will offer unprecedented insight into the evolution of her practice through a range of landmark works, including sculpture, video, text, performance, and site-specific installations, drawn from the past four decades of her career. A poet, artist, filmmaker, and human rights activist, Vicuña operates fluidly between concept and craft, text and textile to draw attention to pressing social and political issues, transforming her pieces into topical vehicles of engagement with economic and environmental disparities and the reclamation of ancestral traditions.
Colored People Time: Mundane Futures
Conceived by Meg Onli, assistant curator at ICA, Colored People Time challenges the traditional exhibitions structure and format to initiate a profound exploration into the banal and everyday ways in which the history of slavery and colonialism permeates the present and impacts the future. Broken into three separate chapters—Mundane Futures, Quotidian Pasts, and Banal Presents—which will open consecutively over the course of 2019, the exhibition explores how the subjugation of black people in America was not only part of our country’s foundation, but exists within our present moment, and shapes our future. Colored People Time will feature a range of emerging and established artists including Aria Dean, Kevin Jerome Everson, Matthew Angelo Harrison, Carolyn Lazard, Dave McKenzie, Martine Syms, Sable Elyse Smith, and Cameron Rowland.