2015 Spring Visual Arts Lecture Series

Image: Not an Alternative, The Natural History Museum.

2015 Spring Visual Arts Lecture Series

Unless otherwise noted, lectures are held at 7:30PM in Tishman Lecture Hall, Bennington College. For more information contact: Elizabeth Pellerin at 802-440.4549 or eapeller@bennington.edu

March 3 • 6:45 pm - Chris Sullivan

Hosted by Video

Christopher Sullivan is an animator, filmmaker, and performance artist whose experimental film and theater work spans 30 years. His work has been shown in festivals, theaters and museums worldwide, including the Zagreb Animation Festival, Ann Arbor Film Festival, New York Short Film Festival, Black Maria Film + Video Festival and Pacific Film Archives. Sullivan’s recent feature-length animated film, “Consuming Spirits,” for which he received Guggenheim and Rockefeller Media Arts Fellowships. A. O. Scott of New York Times called “Consuming Spirits” “entirely original…a wonder.” Sullivan also recently a Creative Capital Grant to start work on another experimental feature, “The Orbit of Minor Satellites.”

Chris Sullivan was born and raised in the wooded hills of Pittsburgh, PA and now lives in Chicago, where he makes his work, teaches at The School of The Art Institute of Chicago, and is father to Carmen and Silvia Abelson.

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Image: Chris Sullivan Consuming Spirits, film still, 2012.

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Image: Bus, The Natural History Museum


Image: Docent, The Natural History Museum

March 31 – Not an Alternative

Hosted by Digital Arts

Not An Alternative is a ten year-old Brooklyn-based arts collective and non-profit organization with a mission to affect popular understandings of events, symbols, and history. Through engaged critical research and design, the group curates and produces interventions on material and immaterial space, bringing together tools from architecture, theory, exhibition design, and political organizing.

All of these efforts are enacted with an eye toward social change and strategies for creative political intervention that involve creating participatory points of entry for arts audiences and everyday citizens alike—not through a typical head-on (or head-butt) approach, but through the occupation and re-deployment of popular vernacular, semiotics, and memes.

Not An Alternative’s creative actions, installations, and presentations have been featured within art institutions such as Guggenheim (NY), PS1/MOMA (NY), Tate Modern (London), Victoria & Albert Museum (London), and Museo Del Arte Moderno (Mexico City), and in the public sphere, where they collaborate with community groups and activist mobilizations.

Initiated by arts collective Not An Alternative, The Natural History Museum is a new museum that offers exhibitions, expeditions, educational workshops, and public programming. Unlike traditional natural history museums, it makes a point to include and highlight the social and political forces that shape nature.

The Natural History Museum affirms the truth of science. It inquires into what we see, how we see, and what remains excluded from our seeing.


April 7 - Lucy Lippard

Adams-Tillim and Ruth D. Ewing ’37 Social Science Lecture

“Three Escape Attempts: Conceptualism, Feminism, and Activism”

Eminent writer, art critic, cultural historian, curator, and activist, Lucy Lippard is recognized as one of contemporary art’s most significant thinkers.  Her deeply influential writings over the last 50 years, have spanned subjects from conceptual art to feminism, to politics and place.  She has written 22 books, each groundbreaking in its exploration of the issues that drive art and artists in our time.  Her work has been honored with a Guggenheim Fellowship, NEA Fellowships, and many other prestigious awards, but perhaps most importantly by a wide readership from all segments of society.

Lippard will speak about her most recent book and current passion “Undermining: A Wild Ride Through Land Use, Politics, and Art in the Changing West”.

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Lucy Lippard


Image: Matthew Brannon, A Young Richard Burton, acrylic on canvas, 2014.

April 28 - Matthew Brannon

Hosted by Painting

Matthew Brannon (b. 1971, St Maries, Idaho) is an artist living and working in New York. Brannon’s work has been the subject of numerous one-person exhibitions, including Department Store at Night (Five Impossible Films, I), Marino Marini Museum, Florence, Italy, 2013; A question answered with a quote, Portikus, Frankfurt, Germany, 2011; Mouse Trap, Light Switch, Museum M, Leuven, Belgium, 2010; Where We Were, Whitney Museum of American Art at Altria, New York, 2007; and Try and Be Grateful, Art Gallery of York University, Toronto, 2007. Recent group exhibitions include Trapping Lions in the Scottish Highlands, Aspen Art Museum, Aspen, CO, 2013; Brannon, Büttner, Kierulf, Kierulf, Kilpper, Bergen Kunsthall, Norway, 2013; In the Name of the Artists, Contemporary American Art from the Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, São Paulo Biennial Pavilion, Brazil, 2011; and At Home/Not at Home: Works from the Collection of Martin and Rebecca Eisenberg, Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY, 2010; and the 2008 Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY, 2008. His work is held in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art, New York, The Denver Art Museum, Denver, The Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, and MADRE Museum, Naples, among others.


May 5 - Claire Van Vliet

Hosted by Printmaking

Claire Van Vliet is the founder and owner of Janus Press, a world-renowned publisher of fine books. This year, Janus press is celebrating its 60th year anniversary. At her Vermont studio, she has created a significant body of watercolors, drawings, etchings, woodcuts, lithographs and pulp paintings, many of which are in the unique books she designs, typesets, prints and binds.

She has had approximately 40 solo exhibitions, and numerous awards including a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship Genius Award, several grants from the National Endowment of the Arts and an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. In 1995, she was elected to the National Academy of Design in New York.



Image: Claire Van Vliet, Various.


Eva Respini

May 19 - Eva Respini


Hosted by Photography

Eva Respini is Curator at The Museum of Modern Art. She has organized one-person exhibitions with artists such as Cindy Sherman, Robert Heinecken, Akram Zaatari, Vik Muniz, Klara Liden, and Boris Mikhailov, and group exhibitions with artists as diverse as Sara VanDerBeek, Ai Wei Wei, Michele Abeles, Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Katy Granan, Lewis Baltz, Sterling Ruby, Roni Horn, Nan Goldin, Walead Beshty, among others.

Her writing appears in many museum publications and periodicals. She is currently a faculty member in the MFA program for Visual Arts at Columbia University, and has been visiting critic at Yale University’s School of Art and the School of Visual Arts, New York.