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Turn on the bright lights

Art, women, politics, and food
By RANDI HOPKINS  |  September 12, 2007
“CLIFF EVANS: EMPYREAN” comes to the
Gardner in November.

Art this fall grapples with issues like gender and journalism, personal space and human survival, and what to have for lunch.

The many questions raised by the idea of “feminist” art are at the heart of “GLOBAL FEMINISMS” at Wellesley College’s Davis Museum and Cultural Center (106 Central St, Wellesley; September 19–December 9), a challenging, large-scale exhibition that launches the museum’s reopening after a year-long hiatus for renovations. The show features art created since 1990 by women from 40 countries including Ambreen Butt, Ryoko Suzuki and Fiona Foley.

Two biting bodies of work by pioneering XX-chromosomed artist Martha Rosler are the subject of “MARTHA ROSLER: BRINGING THE WAR HOME” at the Worcester Art Museum (55 Salisbury Street, Worcester; September 22–January 13). The show brings together Rosler’s historic series Bringing the War Home (1966-’72), montages that combine news photos of the Vietnam War with images from architectural and design magazines, and Bringing the War Home: HouseBeautiful,New Series (2004), which takes another stab at capturing the ironies of American domestic life now that we have a new (but hardly improved) unpopular war. And for a different take on an another war, there’s “KARA WALKER: HARPER’S PICTORIAL HISTORY OF THE CIVIL WAR (ANNOTATED),” which was shown at the Addison Gallery in Andover last January and gets a reprise at Harvard’s Fogg Art Museum (32 Quincy St, Cambridge; October 6–November 11).

Fall preview 2007
“Happy endings: Bad news begets good tunes.” By Matt Ashare. 
 “Busy busy: Something for everyone this fall.” By Debra Cash. 
“Stage worthies: Fall on the Boston boards.” By Carolyn Clay. 
“Basstown nights: The new scene emerges; Halloween preparations.” By David Day. 
“Bounty: The best of the season’s roots, world, folk, and blues.” By Ted Drozdowski.
“War, peace, and Robert Pinsky: The season’s fiction, non-fiction, and poetry.” By John Freeman.
“Trane, Joyce Dee Dee, Sco, and more: A jam-packed season of jazz.” By Jon Garelick.  
“War zones: Fall films face terror at home and abroad.” By Peter Keough. 
“Locked and loaded: The fall promises a double-barreled blast of gaming greatness.” By Mitch Krpata.
“BBC? America!: The networks put some English on the fall TV season.” By Joyce Millman. 
“World music: The BSO goes traveling, and Berlin comes to Boston.” By Lloyd Schwartz.
“Singles scene: Local bands dig in with digital.” By Will Spitz. 
The political and psychological implications of being a passive viewer — of art, war, genocide, immigration issues . . . whatever we watch — are examined in “EYEWITNESS” at Axiom Gallery (141 Green St, Boston; October 12–November 30), in which Denise Marika’s new video “Downrush” is paired with an installation addressing the debate around immigrant laborers by the activist collaborative Think Again (S.A. Bachman and David John Attyah). An activist from an earlier era (and the US representative to the 2007 Venice Biennale) is the focus of “FÉLIX GONZÁLEZ-TORRES” at Harvard’s Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts (24 Quincy St, Cambridge; November 8–January 4). Gonzalez-Torres, who died of complications of AIDS in 1996, invited viewer participation in a seriously old media way, transforming everyday materials that could be infinitely reproduced — candies, lightbulbs, beads — into glamorous and poetic works. At Harvard’s Sert Gallery, “AMIE SIEGEL” features two videos dealing with the representation of historical sites and with architecture and ideology (24 Quincy St, Cambridge; October 4–November 30).

Tom Sachs is known for re-creating objects from the worlds of commerce and consumerism; these include an airplane bathroom and chainsaws with Chanel logos. “TOM SACHS: LOGJAM” at Brandeis’s Rose Art Museum (415 South St, Waltham; September 25–December 16) presents a variety of Sachs’s less well-known “work stations,” obsessive structures that give insight into the artist’s process, and his “living stations.” Look for a handmade, working refrigerator, and a sink with a toilet-paper dispenser. Also opening September 25 at the Rose, “STEVE MILLER: SPIRALING INWARD” explores the boundaries between art and science. Occupying both the Rose’s Lee Gallery and Brandeis’s Women’s Studies Research Center (515 South St, Waltham; October 2–December 14), “TIGER BY THE TAIL! WOMEN ARTISTS OF INDIA TRANSFORMING CULTURE” looks at issues of feminism and gender through contemporary Indian art.

Survival is at issue for artist John Osorio-Buck; projects in his “Utopia” series explore affordable and sustainable building practices. “U7H36: NEW WORK BY JOHN OSORIO-BUCK” at the Essex Art Center (56 Island St, Lawrence; October 26–December 7) presents work from “Utopia 7,” in which he develops a series of shelter units incorporating such systems as hydroponics, with the aim of being able to grow food if (when?) water quality or other environmental hazards preclude traditional gardening. Food, survival, and social exchange meet up with contemporary art practice in “YUM LOCAL(E)”, which is being presented by the Berwick Research Institute in partnership with Somerville’s ArtsUnion (Union Square, Somerville; October 13: 3-6 pm). Starting in early September, the Berwick will install answer boxes around the Union Square Farmer’s Market so that visitors can submit their responses to questions regarding “local food.” On October 13, the public is invited to eat, reflect, and discuss issues of food, memory, and terroir.

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  Topics: Museum And Gallery , Power Napoleon , Martha Rosler , Harvard University ,  More more >
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