“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,...

Yvonne Welbon on the “Hidden Figures” of Cinema History [Audio]

On October 16, 2019, to inaugurate a year of programming around the One Book One Northwestern 2019-2020 selection, Hidden Figures: The Untold True Story of Four African-American Women who Helped Launch Our Nation Into Space, Block Cinema welcomed Chicago-based filmmaker (and Northwestern Film Studies PhD) Yvonne Welbon to present her 2003 documentary Sisters in Cinema. In the film, Welbon...

Contesting Freedom: “Pop América, 1965–1975” Curator Conversation with Esther Gabara [Video]

The ground-breaking exhibition Pop América draws attention to Latin American and US Latino/a artists who turned the “Pop” of Pop art into a verb by using familiar images of modern life—including mass media, fashion, food, and advertising—to make forceful interventions into art and society. On October 2, 2019 The Block Museum welcomed Esther Gabara, curator of  Pop América, for a...

From the Field: International archaeologists share their discoveries with Northwestern students and local schools [Video]

On April 24, 2019, a panel of six international archaeologists gathered at The Block Museum of Art to discuss their research and contributions to the field of archaeology. This unique event offered an insider's perspective on the scholars recent findings in Mali, Morocco, and Nigeria. Titled "From the Field: International Archaeologists in Conversation" the event was presented in conjunction with...

Medievalists organize study day around Caravans of Gold

Sarah Guérin (Department of the History of Art, University of Pennsylvania) and Christina Normore (Department of Art History, Northwestern University) organized a study day of the exhibition Caravans of Gold, Fragments in Time: Art, Culture, and Exchange across Medieval Saharan Africa at The Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University. On May 13, 2019, a group of International Center of...

Head of Smithsonian Lonnie Bunch and award-winning author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie tour Caravans of Gold

Lonnie Bunch was on a tight schedule while in town to deliver Northwestern University’s commencement address. But the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution made time to view a groundbreaking exhibition at The Block Museum of Art — which will travel next year to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art. Bunch, recently appointed as 14th Secretary of the Smithsonian, spoke to...

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...

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...

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...

Flesh of My Flesh: Barry Blinderman and Daniel Berger on David Wojnarowicz [Video]

In July 2018 the Block Museum hosted "Films and Videos by David Wojnarowicz and Collaborators" a screening and conversation presented in partnership with Iceberg Projects in conjunction with the exhibition David Wojnarowicz: Flesh of My Flesh. (June 23 – August 4, 2018) David Wojnarowicz is arguably one of the most important artists to emerge from the New York art world of the 1980s. While...