The Phoenix Network:
About  |  Advertise
Adult  |  Moonsigns  |  Band Guide  |  Blogs  |  In Pictures
Books  |  Comedy  |  Dance  |  Museum And Gallery  |  Theater

Back in the USSR

Studying the Gulag at BU, Mexican women in art at Brandeis, and Pedro Reyes at Harvard
By RANDI HOPKINS  |  October 10, 2006

Grisha Bruskin, The Archeologist’s Collection

Gulag is the Russian acronym for the government agency that administered the famously harsh system of forced labor camps in the former Soviet Union, but it has come to refer more generally to that system of prisons and detention facilities, which was established in 1919 and reached significant numbers in the 1930s. By 1939, it is estimated that more than one million prisoners — including murderers and thieves along with political and religious dissenters — populated camps located mainly in remote regions including Siberia and the steppes of Kazakhstan.

“Territories of Terror: Mythologies and Memories of the Gulag in Contemporary Art,” which opens at the Boston University Art Gallery on October 24, examines Gulag history along with the mythology that has grown up around it. The exhibition features work by seven internationally known artists, including Vitaly Komar and Alexander Melamid, Grisha Bruskin, and Leonid Sokov, who represent two different generations of ex-Soviet art. Each artist, or artist team, is given a “territory” in the gallery in order to confront what the press release calls “the haunted space of the ‘zone’ in history and in the individual psyche.” At the same time, the related “GULAG: Soviet Forced Labor Camps and the Struggle for Freedom,” a collaborative exhibition organized by the Gulag Museum of Perm, the International Memorial Society, the National Park Service, and Amnesty International USA, will be on view at BU’s 808 Gallery.

Daniela Rossell’s large-scale photographs of the trophy wives and daughters of Mexico’s political and social elite come together with Deborah Maddu Huacuja’s paintings and drawings of Mexican women including iconic artist Frida Kahlo in “The Richness of Mexico,” which is on view at Brandeis’s Women’s Studies Research Center through December 15. Both women examine the tradition as well as the current condition of women in Mexico, as seen through their individual cultural and artistic lenses. The free panel discussion “Portraying Mexican Women through Art” takes place at the WSRC on October 24, with panelists Louise Lopman, Silvia Arrom, and Roxanne Davila.

Mexican artist Pedro Reyes’s work takes many forms, often reflecting his training as an architect, his interest in bringing artistic practice into social settings and situations, and his collaborative nature. The first major Reyes retrospective, “Ad Usum: To Be Used,” opens in both the Carpenter Center’s main gallery and the Sert Gallery on October 26, to be accompanied by an artist’s talk that evening at 6 pm. “Ad Usum” highlights the artist’s exploration into the limits of the “usefulness” of art, showcasing his collaboration with the Cultural Agents Initiative at Harvard.

“Territories of Terror” at BU Art Gallery, 855 Comm Ave, Boston and “GULAG” at BU’s 808 Gallery, 808 Comm Ave, Boston | October 24–January 14 | 617.353.3329 or | Panel Discussion: “Portraying Mexican Women through Art” at Brandeis University’s Women’s Studies Research Center, 515 South St, Waltham | October 24 at noon | 781.736.8100 | “Pedro Reyes: ad usum: To Be Used” at Harvard University’s Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts and Sert Gallery, 24 Quincy St, Cambridge | October 26–January 5 | 617.495.3251

On the Web
BU Art Gallery: //
Brandeis University’s Women’s Studies Research Center: //
Visual Arts and Sert Gallery: //

Related: You wear it well, New new things, Turn on the bright lights, More more >
  Topics: Museum And Gallery , Amnesty International USA, Boston University, Brandeis University,  More more >
  • Share:
  • RSS feed Rss
  • Email this article to a friend Email
  • Print this article Print

Today's Event Picks
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   JUST A LITTLE BIT  |  September 23, 2008
    ‘Lossless’ at The Sert Gallery, ‘Overflow’ at Laconia Gallery, Garry Knox Bennett at the Fuller, and String-Theory-inspired art and music at NESAD
  •   WHEN THE RED, RED ROBIN . . .  |  September 17, 2008
    ‘Language Of Color’ at the Harvard Museum of Natural History, ‘Speaker Project’ at MassArt, Cathy McLaurin at Montserrat
  •   DOLLHOUSES AND DREAM STATES  |  September 11, 2008
    Memory, sound, time, and toothpicks define the season
  •   THE NATURE OF THE BEAST  |  September 10, 2008
    Kevin Hooyman’s ‘Dark Walk’ at Proof, ‘The Exquisite Line’ at BU, ‘Material Meditation’ at The New Art Center
  •   I AM I SAID  |  September 03, 2008
    ‘Empire and Its Discontents’ and more at Tufts; ‘Re-View’ and visiting faculty at Harvard; GASP’s Fourth Anniversary

 See all articles by: RANDI HOPKINS

RSS Feed of for the most popular articles
 Most Viewed   Most Emailed 

  |  Sign In  |  Register
Phoenix Media/Communications Group:
Copyright © 2009 The Phoenix Media/Communications Group