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, […]

Judith Arcana, Reproductive Rights Pioneer, in Conversation [Audio]

In the four years before the Roe v. Wade ruling made abortion legal in the United States, a clandestine organization of Chicago women offered low-cost, safe and confidential services to over 11,000 women—the Jane Collective. The film “Jane: An Abortion Service” offers an invaluable oral history, through the words of women who founded, operated, and […]

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 […]

Jen Bervin Talks Poetry, Material, and Metaphor [Video]

Artist and writer Jen Bervin embraces subjects as wide-ranging as the Mississippi River, Emily Dickinson’s poetry, and the history of silk, weaving, and nanotechnology. On February 21, 2018  the artist, Jeanne Dunning, Art Theory & Practice professor, and Susy Bielak, Susan and Stephen Wilson Associate Director of Engagement/Curator of Public Practice, sat down for a conversation about Bervin’s work. In […]

Experiments in Form: Rethinking Abstraction and Materiality c. 1970 [Video]

On Tuesday, January 23, 2018, the Block celebrated the opening of the exhibition “Experiments in Form: Sam Gilliam, Alan Shields, Frank Stella”, on view through June 24, 2018. The exhibition uses works in the Block Museum of Art’s collection by Sam Gilliam (b. 1933), Alan Shields (1944–2005), and Frank Stella (b. 1936) as starting points […]

Simran Bhalla on the incendiary films of India’s “Ministry of Light”

Can cinema make you a good citizen? For a half century, the Indian government hoped so: until 1994, they required commercial cinemas to screen twenty minutes of state-sponsored content before the feature presentation, forcing its movie-mad people to absorb information about the country’s progress and development. In the 1960s, the organization that produced these shorts—Films […]

Art + Engineering: Jen Bervin on her poetic and material influences [Video]

In February the Block teamed up with Northwestern’s McCormick School of Engineering to present a conversation with artist Jen Bervin.   In Bervin’s recent project Silk Poems, she consulted nanotechnology and biomedical labs to fabricate a silk film with an ancient Chinese poem written in a six-character chain that corresponds to human DNA. The Block’s associate […]

Hasan Elahi Examines the Intersection of Technology and Art [Video]

Artist Hasan Elahi’s Tracking Transience project examines the relationship between location, repetition, technology, and surveillance in today’s media age In Aspen, Colorado in 1978, a group of MIT researchers affixed a stop-frame camera atop a car and drove it throughout the popular ski resort town. Combining the footage with a computer, laserdisc player, and touchscreen […]