Reflections on Mark Bradford and Anita Hill

Mark Bradford is an artist in every technical and abstract sense. He is an embodiment of art, a producer, a creator, an eloquent and declarer of humanness and messiness. Hearing him speak on Friday October 24 at The Rose was one of the highest privileges I have had during my time at Brandeis. In many ways Bradford’s talk with Anita Hill and Chris Bedford went beyond the advertised subjects of Art, Blackness and the Diaspora.

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      Much of the talk surrounded the tension between physical and abstract, figurative and personal. Bradford discussed his upbringing as a black male in South Central Los Angeles during a time when “blackness” was becoming known as hip-hop, Ebonics and statistics. Bradford eloquently expressed that in 1997/8 when he graduated from art school, he was very aware he was black but wasn’t quite sure what that meant. Blackness was too figurative and because his identity felt this way he created abstraction as a counterpoint to the figurative. As Mark explained, “creative had a life,” and in having a life, his life, his works began to be and reflect his creative reality and his Black personhood. Bradford expressed that his art was his own radical political moment wherein he could look at the figurative of his own (and others’) identity and turn that figurative element into another conversation. Commenting on his abstractions he said, “I’m going to be black ‘til the day I die and it’s a social condition and it’s constantly shifting.”

      What I found particularly beautiful and inspiring about Mark’s introspective and expressive quality of creative life was his ability to reflect and meditate on craft as a manifestation of interdisciplinary history. As an Anthropology and Creative Writing double major, witnessing such a humble and articulate artist connect the fields of social work, history, personhood and art was a great privilege. The way that he bridged the disciplines into a wholesome and powerful assertion of humans’ obligation to one another was very moving. The mood of the room, filled with professors, Rose Staff members, students and parents, felt grounded and organically connected, yet extremely diverse. The representatives of the African and Afro-American Studies department and student body, along with those in the field of Art History, Literature, Law and other disciplines unbeknownst to me, felt very close in both social presence and social goals. What I mean by this is that Bradford and Hill’s conversation embodied the ideals, the pitfalls, the realities, and the passions of the people in the room, and the people here at our university. It gives me great hope as an artist, a social science student, and a human being to see that interdisciplinary learning and embodiment can be as simple as Bradford speaking his truth. Of course, those who listen are important, for we recognize this embodiment, but to have the privilege of witnessing his interdisciplinary existence feels both abstract and heavily grounded. It feels as physical as his paintings and as complex as his humanness. It feels wholeheartedly poignant.

by Risa Dunbar, SCRAM member

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It’s a Week of Mark Bradford!

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SCRAM is excited for a week of Mark Bradford as he visits the Rose for a second time this fall! Attend the following events to learn more about his work and concepts! Symposium: Mark Bradford Thursday, Oct. 23rd | 2-7pm … Continue reading

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JOHN ALTOON OPENING

The first major retrospective of John Altoon (1925-1969), a little-known yet important artist whose brief but significant career unfolded in Southern California from the 1950s until his untimely death in 1969 at age 43. A post-modernist before his time, Altoon had a facility with line, color and subject matter that influenced his peers and continues to resonate with artists today.  The exhibition, co-organized with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), includes approximately 70 paintings and drawings created by this legendary figure of the 1960s Los Angeles art scene.

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Opens October 8 at 5 PM

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LAMP LIGHT / LATE NIGHT

The Rose Art Museum will be open through 9pm this Thursday Oct. 2nd!


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SCRAM invites the Brandeis community to a night under the lamp light with student led tours starting at 6:30pm followed by apple cider and fall treats outside under the sculpture “Light of Reason,” by artist Chris Burden. 


Student Guides will be on hand to help you explore artworks in the museum through conversations with your peers. The Student Guides are well trained in Visual Thinking Strategies. VTS is an interactive and engaging way to learn more about art and think about pieces in a way you might not have before and we hope you join us for some great conversations and yummy fall desserts! 

Learn more about the exhibits before you visit the Rose!


As always, admission to the museum is FREE (and so are the treats).

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Answers to your Light of Reason concerns/ questions!

Important answers to questions or concerns you may have about the new sculpture at

The Rose Art Museum is now available on their website!

We would like to emphasize: The Rose purchased the sculpture FOR THE STUDENTS and the community! It should use it as a place, among other things, to gather, protest, relax and study. The money that went into the sculpture was from a fund that the Rose can only use to purchase art, and they chose to purchase something for the community to create a more interactive environment in front of the museum!

Light of Reason Mike Lovett

It’s YOUR MUSEUM! USE IT! it’s a wonderful space!

We would love to clear up any questions the Brandeis community has as SCRAM  so shoot me a message or email me at abhall@brandeis.edu if you would like to know anything else about it or the museum!

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Close Looking: 9/17 at the Rose!

Close Looking – 3:30 – Rose Art Museum – 9/17

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This Wednesday, take a closer look at Chris Burden’s sculpture Light of Reason in a discussion led by Brandeis Professors Gordie Fellman (Sociology) and Christopher Abrams (Fine Arts). The event will take place beneath the lampposts, with tea and small cakes provided in a reception to follow.

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and the Rose is open!

 

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photo/Mike Lovett

After a summer of busy installation The Rose Art Museum opened on September 10th! The opening was a terrific success with a estimated 1,500 people in attendance. Both the Antlers and Lydian String Quartet played amazing shows and the food trucks supplied everything from ice cream to tacos.

With the Rose now open its regular museum hours 12-5pm Tuesdays through Sundays we welcome all to visit the thought provoking exhibits now illuminating the museum. The current shows highlight artists Mark Bradford, Chris Burden, Magnus Plessen and Alex Hubbard. Please visit the exhibitions page of the museum to learn more about the current exhibits and the artists’ works!

SCRAM will be hosting many events this semester both under the lights and in the museum! We hope the lights invite a plethora of students to the museum, for as was said at the opening - now no one will ask “where is the Rose?” Let the lights guide you there!

Check out this great slideshow and video published by BrandeisNOW on the opening and exhibits!

SCRAM even got a group picture with Mark Bradford!

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Rose Forecast: Upcoming events

Your source for news and events at the Rose Art Museum

SCRAM is excited to present Rose Art Museum events scheduled for the remainder of the semester. Whether it’s artist talks, Close Looking or new exhibition openings, we’ve got you covered. Stay tuned for news on upcoming SCRAM events!

Wed. 
March 12: Artist Talk: Mark Dion 6:00 PM
 Mandel Center for the Humanities

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Fri. March 14: Panel Discussion and Q&A with Peter Kalb on his book, Art Since 1980 2:15 PM Mandel Center for the Humanities G03

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Tues. 
March 25: Rose Video 03 Opening 
5:00 – 8:00 PM
 Rose Art Museum

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Tues.
 March 25: Artist Talk: Mary Reid Kelley
 6:00 PM
 Rose Art Museum

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Thurs. March 27: Extended hours at the Rose Art Museum (the museum will be open from 12 pm until 9 pm)

Tues. 
April 1: Curator Talk: Katy Siegel 
5:00 PM
 Rose Art Museum

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Wed.
 April 2: Artist Talk: Charline von Heyl 
6:00 PM
 Rose Art Museum, Lower Rose Gallery

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Wed.
 April 9: Close Looking: Fernand Léger, La Femme Bleue
 3:30 PM
 Rose Art Museum, Lee Gallery

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Wed.
 April 9: Beyond Conflict Book Launch and Panel Discussion 
6:00 – 8:00 PM
 Rose Art Museum

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UPDATE: Festival of the Arts
April 24 – 27: Leonard Bernstein Festival of the Creative Arts.
Find yourself in art at Brandeis’ annual Bernstein Festival of the Creative Arts. Each spring, the campus blooms with creativity and community, presenting work by national and regional artists as well as Brandeis faculty and students. For full schedule, visit www.brandeis.edu/arts/festival

All events are free and open to the public. Events include:

Thursday, April 24
Creativity and Collaboration: A Symposium
12:30 p.m.
Women’s Studies Research Center
Col·lab·o·rate: to work with another person to create; or to give help to an enemy. In their annual symposium, WSRC artist-scholars consider the true complexities of collaboration: Does it enhance artistry or bring too many cooks to the kitchen? Panelists include:
· Moisès Fernández Via, pianist, Boston University’s director of the Arts Outreach Initiative, College of Fine Arts & BU Medical Campus
· Susie Rivo, WSRC Scholar, film director-producer of documentary Left On Pearl
· Rochelle Ruthchild, WSRC Scholar, research associate, Harvard University’s Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian studies; co-producer of Left on Pearl
· Rosie Rosenzweig, WSRC Resident Scholar, author of Streaming: the Transformative Power of Creativity
Moderated by Daniel Langenthal, Director of Experiential Learning and Teaching

How to Make Movies at Home
6:30 p.m.
Wasserman Cinematheque, Sachar International Center
Are you and your friends making movies? If not, are you crazy? The wall between “pro” and “am” has crumbled and a new wave of folk cinema is rolling in. “How to Make Movies at Home” is a wild, infectious celebration of the Do-It-Yourself world — peppered with practical lessons on cinema craft. Director Morgan Nichols ’94 says: “Filmmaking can be a vital, bonding, soul-enhancing endeavor. Today, a new wave of microcinema, made with HD cameras and home editing, is potentially in millions of hands.” Featuring John Andrew Morrison ’95, Oded Gross ’93, Micia Mosely ’95. Music by Josh Kantor ’94 and Scott Rabin ’90. Additional screenwriting: Laura Lee Bahr ’95. Cosponsored by the Film, Television and Interactive Media program and the Brandeis Alumni Association.

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Friday, April 25
Art Workshop: Find Yourself in Love, Beauty, Wildness, Dreams and the Bizarre
1-3 p.m.
Shapiro Campus Center Multipurpose Room
Enter a room designed to fuel your creative fires through poetry and art. Engage in creative pursuits at one of our “playstations,” where art and words will inspire you and you’ll find the materials to follow your inspiration. Or get advice via our authorized Dream Getaway travel agent (Elizabeth Bradfield, poet-in-residence), who will vicariously whisk you away to another land via our customized Broadsided Press Viewmaster ™ Projection Vacations. For more information: ebrad@brandeis.edu

Arts Career Alumni Talk with Morgan Nichols
2-3 p.m.
Location TBD
Find yourself in the microcinema movement with director Morgan Nichols ’94 (“How to Make Movies at Home,” screening Thursday, April 25) and other alumni in the arts. Light refreshments will be served. Sponsored by the Hiatt Career Center and Film, Television and Interactive Media program.

Saturday, April 26
Illuminations
8 p.m.
Bethlehem Chapel
Find yourself in the secretive world of a 1554 Belgian convent. The professional ensemble Cappella Clausura brings to life a remarkable piece of art and a collection of music with chant from a recently discovered antiphonal, period costumes, period food and full-color banners of pages from the Salzinnes Antiphonal. Directed by Amelia LeClair and Alexandria Borrie (Women’s Studies Research Center). Leslie Held, costume design.

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Review: Anthony Amore lecture at Brandeis University

It is a unique and bold opportunity to learn about the realities of the collision between art and crime. Fifty individuals from the Brandeis community, including Art History majors, members and directors of the Rose Art Museum, and other individuals from the faculty and student body got the chance to see these spheres collide this past Monday, March 3. Anthony Amore, Director of Security of the Isabella Stewart Art Museum in Boston, and author of Stealing Rembrandts, delivered a compelling, somewhat humorous, and remarkably comprehensive vista into the security of art museums, the reality of art theft, and the implications of such insults to culture.

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In 1990, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum was robbed of thirteen pieces of its art collection, including Rembrandt masterpieces, and totaling in five hundred thousand dollars worth of property. Obviously, this is no small event, and Amore consistently reminded his audience of this fact. His talk though, was propelled not just by stringing together the facts of the heist, but also the rarities and humors of it. Amore made fun of his own Massachusetts roots saying that, in addition to its notorious reputation as an epicenter for brutal murders, bad driving and foul mouths, “Massachusetts also has the highest rate of art crimes in the United States.”
His humor seamlessly introduced the case, and his continued ability to make fun of the absurdity of art thieves according to Amore’s findings. Mr. Amore explained how he “used skills I learned in security service at Logan Airport following 9/11” in order to build a database wherein all robberies of Rembrandt paintings in the last century were compiled. He explained how “art thieves are more like guys from the Coen brothers’ movies” than these “educated,” and culturally versed art collectors with eyes set on putting a Rembrandt in a private basement so as to contemplate the universe and admire it alone.

Anthony Amore signs copies of his book "Stealing Rembrandts," after his lecture.

Anthony Amore signs copies of his book Stealing Rembrandts after his lecture.

This new perspective on the reality of art theft greatly surprised and benefitted me. The most impactful part of the whole talk though, was when Amore spoke about the cultural implications of the theft and how he, his fellow investigators, and the people at the museum, “simply want the art back.” They “seek no prosecution,” instead they “want the Gardner Museum’s collection to be restored” to its purposefully curated completion; especially, because the cadence of the small collection’s exhibition shifted after the loss of the Rembrandts. The collection changed meaning with the absence of the paintings, and now it’s the job of the justice seekers to restore the Gardner to its original glory for the culture seekers.
Amore’s talk presents a myriad of facts and concepts to consider, but leaves an unwavering bottom line which I believe to be the most significant takeaway from the event: respect art, respect its history, its implications, respect its identity within our culture.

-Risa Dunbar, ’17, Committee Member

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Lemberg Center visits The Rose

Believe it or not, we’re already well into another semester here at Brandeis. But this season’s Rose Exhibitions have just opened. Although the opening reception was snowed out (as many things seem to be lately), I had a great way to start off this semester’s exhibitions. Last week I, along with my fellow Gallery Guide Hallie, got the exciting chance to lead the children from the Lemberg Center on a tour of the museum. When they first came in they were so eager to go see the Chris Burden exhibit. I can’t blame them, since those shiny intricate structures are just too tempting you once you walk in the door. Once we got them settled down a bit we started our tour with a discussion of the largest sculpture there. All of the students were excited by how big it is, the sleek metal materials it’s made out of, and how it reminded them of bridges they have been over themselves. We then moved downstairs to the Wols and Charline von Heyl exhibit. We sat in front of a work by Charline von Heyl entitled Carlotta. This work has abstracted facial features surrounded by an array of abstract shapes and colors. These shapes and colors left room for each of the children to have their own idea of what was happening. It was genuinely wonderful to hear how many different ideas these children had from looking at the same work.
The excitement and energy from these children put me into such a great mood. It was fun to explore the exhibits with them, since I haven’t had much time with the works yet. It was also encouraging to remember how VTS (the method we use for giving tours at the Rose) is so effective in encouraging audiences to engage with the works at their own level. Talking with the children I just felt their happy attitude about being in the museum and took on a bit of it for myself. The best part of the day was some of the responses we got from the children about what they learned from their tour, such as “Anything can be art!”
“Art is fun!”
“People can have different ideas about art,”
and my personal favorite: “Art is weird!”

-Nora Owens ’16, Committee Member

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