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Crafting Protest at the New School, and two films at the Met

Crafting Protest

Panel Discussion and Craft Reception
Theresa Lang Community and Student Center - 55 W. 13 St, New York NY
5pm Saturay 26 January 2008

Laurie Simmons and Sharon Lockhart at the Met
Metropolitan Museum of Art - 1000 Fifth Ave, New York NY
2pm Sunday 27 January 2008
$Museum admission

On Saturday the Vera List Center for Art and Politics at the New School presents Crafting Protest, a panel discussion on contemporary craft practice as a site of resistance and political agency. The panel moderator is art historian and critic Julia Bryan-Wilson, and panelists will include artists Sabrina Gschwandtner, Liz Collins, Cat Mazza, and Allison Smith. The panel is presented in conjunction with the Vera List Center's program on "Agency" and will address "the role of craft in forming national identities, especially in times of political turmoil or war; notions of patriotism; feminism and the domestic sphere; and economic models that circumvent conventional market models."

This Sunday, the Metropolitan Museum of Art will screen film works by Laurie Simmons and Sharon Lockhart, two contemporary American photographers. Simmons, known for her introspective, if slightly sentimental, portraits of dolls presents The Music of Regret, an original narrative work from 2006 in three acts, staring Meryl Streep along with a cast of ventriloquist dolls and several live performers. The film is comprised of three disjointed stories taking the form of radio play, an American musical narrative, and a staged "auditon" in which Simmon's signature giant objects with human legs dance wildly for off-screen viewers who judge the performance. Sharon Lockhart will present NO, a quiet, cinematic work from 2003 featuring two Japanese peasant farmers gathering hay and distributing it over a field. Lockhart's work takes on the character of still photography or landscape painting as its silent narrative unfolds over 34 minutes in the crisp 16mm cinematography; the title of the film suggests a link between the farmers' activity and NO-no Ikebana, a Japanese avant-garde flower arrangement practice. Both Lockhart and Simmons will speak with curator Douglas Eklund following the screening of their films.