Pia Chackraverti-Wuerthwein ’16, who has long been interested in both art curation and issues of displacement, premiered Interpreting Displacement on Feb. 22 in James House, the 24-hour student art space on campus. Abby Fullem ’16 and the rest of the James House Board supported the aspiring curator in the creation of the exhibit, which explores displacement and its manifestations in music, space, time and memory, and features the works of Anneke Heher ‘14, Honglan Huang ‘16, Andrew Szczurek ‘16 and Sofia Vivado ‘16.
Standing before the mobile she created from colorful puzzle-piece cut-outs pasted with facts about endangered languages, Heher cited her linguistics thesis and many summers spent in Montana as the major inspirations for the piece. “It’s really hard to spend time in the Midwest without stumbling upon hints of displacement,” she said.
In the adjacent corner was Huang’s interactive photo-exhibit “Traveling through Time,” for which postcards and photos from Shanghai, China, were displayed across the wall. Viewers were encouraged to write messages to a subject from a different time.
Vivado’s “Untitled Acrylic” is a collection of three acrylic maps displaying the injustices of Mapuche immigration and the issues of border-displacement. Vivado said that the technicality the acrylics required made the piece a challenging creation.
Those attending the opening gathered in the James House living room to hear “Duck, Fish and Albatross,” a classical music composition written by Szczurek. A more modernist composer, Szczurek made his first foray into classical composition with this piece, which conveys “how history was a musical displacement and vice versa.” The five musicians who played “Duck, Fish and Albatross” were dressed in clothes reflecting the stereotypes of their respective instruments to further convey the notion of “musical displacement.”
David Robinson ’14, in the audience during the performance, commented afterward that he especially enjoyed the “solitary nature and visceral emotions” embedded within Szczurek’s piece.
Interpreting Displacement doubled as the unofficial debut of the newly renovated James House. Board members spent much of last semester repainting walls, replacing furniture and creating a more accessible space for student art work and shows. “I think it’s cool that students are making the space creative and productive,” said attendee Sienna Mann ’14.
Interpreting Displacement will be on display until mid-March and the James House gallery is available for future student show bookings.
Photos by Deborah Leter ’15.