×
COVID-19 UPDATE: ALL SAM LOCATIONS CURRENTLY CLOSED. LEARN MORE »

Muse/News: Rivers, short films, and the PS22 Chorus

SAM News

Flowing tears, drowning hands, purposeful denial, and a mandala sun: get lost and found in Kimisha Turner’s mural It Ain’t Just A River in Egypt. Commissioned by SAM and paid for by an anonymous donor, the mural is now on view on the plywood-covered facade of the downtown museum. Watch and read all about it from KING’s Evening Magazine and Crosscut.

Kai Curry for Northwest Asian Weekly on SAM’s Asia Talks series; the latest edition has gone virtual, partnering with Kazbar Media to feature three artists who immigrated to the US from Asia and the Middle East.

Local News

The Stranger’s Jasmyne Keimig on the “unwanted layer of sealant” applied to Capitol Hill’s Black Lives Matter mural. The mural’s artists, coming together as the Vivid Matter Collective, are discussing how to proceed and protect the mural.

The Seattle Times’ Brendan Kiley reports on an open letter to Artist Trust charging inequitable practices, spurred in part by a dispute over one of its awards.

Crosscut’s Brangien Davis recommends the many upcoming virtual film screenings, including the Seattle Black Film Festival, which features an emphasis on short films. Bonus popcorn flavoring tip (inquire within for Muse/News’ preferred method!).

“Like the best short stories, short films can pack a punch—sometimes more than a feature length movie. Plus these showcases allow you to experience a huge range of voices and styles, and find new filmmakers you want to follow.”

Inter/National News

Give a listen to Artnet’s podcast, The Art Angle; this episode features Hank Willis Thomas, artist and co-founder of For Freedoms, discussing how he’s “making politics an art form.”

Elizabeth Merritt, director of the Center for the Future of Museums, explores the question of what opportunities for effecting deep structural change in the museum field may now be possible.

As part of Artforum’s ongoing “Project” series, Ja’Tovia Gary selects five artists’ work to highlight; click through to explore the work of Eniola Dawodu, Oroma Elewa, Jazmine Hayes, Fatima Jamal, and Sydney Vernon. By the way: Gary has made her 2019 work, The Giverny Document: Single Channel, available to view.

“Oftentimes, Black women find ourselves at the vanguard whether or not that is our preferred position. Our ways of being, knowing, and seeing have shaped what we know of history and will be absolutely integral as we work to conceptualize and bring forth a more egalitarian future free from bondage and subjugation.”

And Finally

Playlist suggestion: The PS22 Chorus.

 Rachel Eggers, SAM Associate Director of Public Relations

Image: L.Fried

Object of the Week: ChimaTEK Virtual Chimeric Space

Want is the desire to possess or do, or the feeling of lack or being short of something desirable. As long as you’re wanting, you’re usually in a space of trying to gain something for yourself and yourself only. This is a result of individualized thinking, which is one of the pillars of the Western-American ideology. So what does freedom from want look and feel like? And what does it require of us to consider living free from want?

This possibility is explored by Saya Woolfalk, a New York-based artist who uses science fiction and fantasy to reimagine the world in multiple dimensions. With her multi-year projects No Place: A Ritual of the Empathics and ChimaTEK: Virtual Chimeric Space—the latter of which is on view in Lessons from the Institute of EmpathyWoolfalk creates a world of Empathics, a fictional race of women who are able to alter their genetic make-up and fuse with plants. With each body of work Woolfalk says, “I want a person to experience something that simultaneously makes them slightly uncomfortable about the potential of the world that I have created, but also gives them an excitement about a harmonious, multi-cultural society.”

While seemingly very different from human beings, the Empathics actually reflect our multicultural society in myriad ways. Through these beings, who have developed the ability to think collectively, we learn just how powerful the effects of empathy are when honed and used to empower a society in the direction of cultural evolution.

Freedom from want has the potential to take us to a place where this kind of evolution can be realized. In this free state, we are enabled to shift our focus from individual want to helping others gain what they require in order to experience the satisfaction of their needs. With the pressures of scarcity and fear eliminated, a new form of thinking emerges from a place of equity and equality.

Moving closer to freedom from want as a reality—as opposed to an out-of-reach ideal—challenges us to consider others instead of only the self. It challenges us to remove the ego—to listen and understand. It challenges what we consider necessary in order to live happy and successful lives. It challenges us to move beyond individualized, self-centered thinking and towards an elevated level of collective thinking, which is necessary for harmonious living and ultimately stimulates our capacity for acceptance, benefiting every global citizen.

– Adera Gandy, Visitor Services Officer

Image: Installation view of Lessons from the Institute of Empathy at Seattle Art Museum, 2018, © Seattle Art Museum, photo: Nathaniel Willson