“How do we come to believe this is the way things have to be:” Filmmaker Brett Story on the politics of access and observation

In November 2019, The Block welcomed Toronto-based filmmaker Brett Story for two nights of her acclaimed documentary films and conversation on her groundbreaking practice. The Prison in Twelve Landscapes (2016) explores the criminal justice system and mass incarceration in the U.S. from a number of oblique vantage points, rather than focusing on prisons themselves. Story looks at female...

The Block Installation “Crew” in Quarantine – A Digital Project

When the Spring 2020 exhibitions could not go forward as planned due to COVID-19 closure, The Block Museum and its scheduled installation team found innovative new ways to make meaning together. No exhibition installation period ever feels like standard procedure even in routine times.  There are unique problems to solve and troubleshoot; plans that go wrong;  artistic visions to...

‘Caravans of Gold’ app reaches global audience by going small

Multilingual, minimal computing project brings exhibition to African partners and users worldwide What crosses continents, can travel 13 centuries into the past, and takes up just 10 MB on a smartphone? The Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University has released a free mobile web app designed to share the groundbreaking touring exhibition Caravans of Gold, Fragments in Time with...

The Block Docent Diaries: Top Memories

The Block Museum Student Docent Program is made up of students from across Northwestern University that serve as the museum’s tour guides and ambassadors. In Spring 2020, the program continues online as students connect, research, and plan in support of the Museum’s mission. We reached out to this team to learn more about their current inspiration at this time. We asked: What are your...

Checking in On… Amelia Mylvaganam, Curatorial Research Aide

During Spring 2020 the Block Museum staff and students continue to connect online and advance the Museum’s teaching and learning mission. This week, we check in on student worker Amelia Mylvaganam who serves as a Curatorial Research Aide. In addition to contributing to The Block, Amelia is freshman in the School of Communication, majoring in Radio/Television/Film. I work as the Curatorial...

Whose Streets?: Emeka Ekwelum, Sabaah Folayan, Kristiana Rae Colón, and Damon Williams in discussion [Audio]

Each week throughout Spring 2020, a member of The Block's team has offered selections that resonate with them at this moment. ⁣Today, Michael Metzger, Pick-Laudati Curator of Media Arts, chooses the platform to draw attention to a single event with relevance to our moment “The images of police violence that have circulated over the last week are shocking but not surprising; in fact, they are...

Letter from the Director: Our Responsibility

Recent events have again laid bare the aggression, injustices, and inequities faced every day by African Americans. George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery,—these are just three more names added to a tragically long list of unarmed black individuals whose lives have been taken by the hands of police officers empowered to protect them and through violent vigilante actions. The Block...

Collection Spotlight: Como te ven te tratan (How they see you, they treat you), Hector Duarte

Artist: Hector Duarte (Mexican and American, born 1952)Title: Como te ven te tratan (How they see you, they treat you)Year: 2007Medium: Color linoleum cut on paperSize: 15 3/8 in x 11 1/4 inCredit: Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University, gift of Molly Day and John Himmelfarb, 2007.15.3 “Over time it’s as if the barbed wire forms part of the person.” Quoted in a 2009...

The Block Docent Diaries: What you Keep

The Block Museum Student Docent Program is made up of students from across Northwestern University that serve as the museum’s tour guides and ambassadors. In Spring 2020, the program continues online as students connect, research, and plan in support of the Museum’s mission. We reached out to this team to learn more about their current inspiration at this time. We asked: What is...

“Becoming and becoming and becoming”: Manthia Diawara on the porous borders of identity, nation, and art [Audio]

On February 2, 2019 The Block welcomed filmmaker and NYU Professor of Cinema Studies Manthia Diawara for a screening and conversation on his 2017 film An Opera of the World. A world-renowned theorist of cultural hybridity, Manthia Diawara left Mali at the age of 19, emigrating to France and later to the United States. He returned to Mali in 2008 to film rehearsals for Bintou Were, a Sahel Opera,...