Western Union: Small Boats, one of the most important video installations by acclaimed artist Isaac Julien, will be on view at the Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase College, SUNY, from February 12–May 31, 2020. Western Union, made in 2007, addresses migration across the Mediterranean from Africa to Europe in the early years of the 21st century. The work, which has received dozens of accolades and awards, powerfully evokes the trauma of clandestine passage — what it means to journey illegally from one place to another, from one culture to another.
Like all of Julien’s work, Western Union uses brilliant images to tell an often-chilling tale: the story of men, women, and children who crossed the ocean in small, overcrowded boats promising escape from Africa to Europe. While the installation explicitly focuses on the experience of migrants who attempted to cross the Mediterranean in and before 2007, it resonates in today’s world as nations attempt to enforce their borders against refugees escaping the ravages of war, violence, instability, terrorism, and famine.
“At a time when US immigration policies are generating controversy on a daily basis, the questions posed by Julien about the movement of bodies and the experience of migration make the subject matter especially compelling,” says Louise Yelin, Professor Emerita, Literature, Purchase College, SUNY, who co-curated the exhibition with Helaine Posner, Chief Curator, Neuberger Museum of Art.
“Isaac Julien, Western Union: Small Boats” is on view at the Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase College, SUNY (735 Anderson Hill Rd., Purchase, NY 10577) from February 12-May 31. The exhibition is organized by the Neuberger Museum of Art and co-curated by Helaine Posner, Neuberger Chief Curator, and Louise Yelin, Purchase College, SUNY, Professor Emerita, Literature, Purchase College.
The close, careful, and subtle observation I found this year is representative of precisely why I continue to gravitate to this fair.
How do we counter stereotypes about Black mothers, while stressing the importance of memory, determination, love, and corporeality?
An expansive exhibition on Adeliza McHugh’s influential Candy Store Gallery celebrates the whimsical, irreverent aesthetic that put California’s Sacramento Valley on the art-historical map.
With two stellar retrospectives, one time-based installation, and several commissions by local artists, the Phillips Collection has dedicated its galleries to highlighting abstract work by Black artists.
As we begin a new year, a small moment on Queer Eye makes me think about the profound effect our stories can have on each other.
Each fellow in this 10-month intensive in New Haven, Connecticut, will receive studio or office space, subsidized housing, and a generous stipend.
Some have criticized the racist monument’s planned relocation to North Dakota, near land seized from Indigenous people.
A group called the Boriken Libertarian Forces toppled the monument hours before King Felipe VI of Spain’s visit.
Graduate students in the University of Denver’s Emergent Digital Practices program work on research with faculty who are engaged directly with their communities, both online and off.
Still resonating with relevance, William Gropper’s incisive cartoons in defense of the WPA go on auction at New York’s Swann Galleries together with other works by celebrated WPA artists.
Archeologists excavating in Nijmegen, the Netherland’s oldest city, found the bowl in pristine condition.
A pioneer of street photography, Levitt worked in the most crowded and poorest neighborhoods of New York searching for the theater of everyday life.