“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,...

“Something unexpected underneath the surface”: Sound Designer Gary Rydstrom on “The Elephant Man” [Audio]

On October 10, 2019 Block Cinema joined with Northwestern's MA in Sound Arts and Industries to welcome Academy-Award-Winning Sound Designer Gary Rydstrom for a discussion of David 's Lynch's 1980 classic The Elephant Man. Although noted for its evocative black and white cinematography and for John Hurt’s sensitive and powerful performance as Merrick, the film’s emotional landscape derives,...

Caravans of Gold curator Kathleen Bickford Berzock speaks at Harvard’s Villa I Tatti

Kathleen Bickford Berzock, The Block’s associate director of curatorial affairs, recently presented on the Block exhibition Caravans of Gold, Fragments in Time to an international audience at the Villa I Tatti, The Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies in Florence, Italy. Her talk, “A World in a Fragment: Visualizing Trans-Saharan Exchange through Object-Based Comparisons...

Artist-at-Large Dario Robleto discusses ethics with experts across fields [Video]

Artist Dario Robleto returned to Evanston this spring to continue his ongoing collaboration as Northwestern's inaugural Artist-at-Large, hosted by the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science and The Block Museum of Art. The Artist-at-Large Program brings contemporary artists to campus for in-depth exchanges with faculty and students; the Program joins other activities organized by...

Fred Wilson explores Afro Turk identities in “Afro Kismet” [Video]

Internationally acclaimed artist and MacArthur Fellow Fred Wilson addressed audiences at The Block on April 16, 2019. In his talk, Wilson shared insights into his work Afro Kismet— resonant with themes of migration and history explored in the exhibition Caravans of Gold, Fragments in Time: Art, Culture, and Exchange across Medieval Saharan Africa. Throughout his career, Wilson has challenged...

Ellen Lupton on design and innovation at the Goldsholl studio [Video]

This past October writer, curator, and graphic designer Ellen Lupton shared her perspective on design at the Goldsholl studio, the focus of the 2018 Block exhibition Up is Down: Mid-Century Experiments in Advertising and Film at the Goldsholl Studio.  In the 1950s and '60s, the Goldsholl design firm’s creative experiments with light and media found their ways to lucrative commercials and...

Making the Modern Image: Mid-Century Commercial Industry In Chicago [Video]

The EXPO Chicago /Dialogues series features discussions and provocative discourse with artists, curators, and professionals on the current issues that engage them. On September 28, 2018. The Block Museum was proud to take part in a dialogue that included panelists Theaster Gates (Artist | Rebuild Foundation), Corinne Granof (Curator of Academic Programs, Block Museum of Art, Northwestern...

The Debt Is Infinite: Discussing ‘Outlier’ Artists and the work of Paul Chan with curator Lynne Cooke [Video]

Paul Chan’s landmark 2003 digital animation Happiness (finally) after 35,000 years of civilization draws on the themes and iconography of one of Chicago’s most celebrated self-taught artists, Henry Darger. The Block Museum presents the monumental video installation in its Alsdorf Gallery during Fall 2018. On October 4, Lynne Cooke, Senior Curator for Special Projects in Modern Art at the...

Inside the Art and Science of Picasso’s Blues [Video]

Earlier this year, The New York Times reported on a major discovery made by Northwestern scientists, in partnership with the Art Institute of Chicago. An interdisciplinary team had used tools originally developed for medicine, manufacturing and geology to discover hidden details in the Picasso’s paintings and sculptures. Audiences learned more about this fascinating story, which offers new...

An Archaeology of Advertising: Hank Willis Thomas opens “Unbranded” at the Block [Video]

Over 350 guests joined artist Hank Willis Thomas at the Block Museum on April 14, 2018 for a talk on his politically charged work and the Block Museum exhibition Hank Willis Thomas: Unbranded. The exhibition brings together selections from two bodies of work: Unbranded: Reflections in Black by Corporate America 1968-2008 and Unbranded: A Century of White Women 1915-2015. By digitally removing...