Attend a screening of Jean Michel Basquait: The Radiant Child at the Museum of the African Diaspora (MOAD). Following the film, a panel of academics and artists discuss the enduring impact of this legendary artist.
Jennifer A. Gonzalez
Jennifer Gonzalez writes about contemporary art with an emphasis on installation art, digital art and activist art. She is interested in understanding the strategic use of space (exhibition space, public space, virtual space) by contemporary artists and by cultural institutions such as museums. More specifically, she has focused on the representation of the human body and its relation to discourses of race and gender. Artists over the past two decades have used installation art to represent their concerns about history, identity and memory. Installation art and museum display practices have become mutually influential; many artists have been invited to produce original art projects inside museums or using museum exhibition techniques. Gonzalez’s research has lead to a book project on the work of contemporary artists who use installation art as a way to stage a critical assessment of race politics in the United States. In addition to installation art, Jennifer Gonzalez has written on contemporary digital art and specifically on the visual representation of the body. Several of her articles and book chapters focus on the cyborg body or the hybrid body as both symptoms of and metaphors for cultural transformation. The visual representation of new forms of corporeality often signal a utopian hope or distopic unease with new technologies and imaginary futures.
Jordana Moore Saggese
Jordana Moore Saggese is an assistant professor of Visual Studies, and affiliated faculty in Diversity Studies, the Graduate Program in Visual and Critical Studies and the Graduate Program in Fine Arts.
Since 2009 she has served as CCA's faculty mentor to students of color. Trained as an art historian, her work focuses on modern and contemporary art with an emphasis on the expressions and theorizations of blackness.
Saggese's writing has appeared in Exposure: The Journal of the Society for Photographic Education and nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art. She has published work online for Artforum, CAA Reviews, The International Review of African-American Art, and most recently "smarthistory.org." Her essay, "Appropriation in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction," appeared in the catalogue for the international exhibition, Ménage à Trois: Warhol, Basquiat, Clemente (Bonn: Kunst-und Austellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, 2012). Her first book Reading Basquiat: Exploring Ambivalence in American Art, which reexamines the painting practice of the often-mythologized 1980s art star Jean-Michel Basquiat, will be published by the University of California Press in the spring of 2014.
Lewis Watts is a photographer, archivist/curator and professor of Art at UC Santa Cruz. His research and artwork centers primarily on cultural landscape. Focusing on African American communities in Oakland, Richmond , San Francisco, New Orleans and Harlem. He has been teaching photography at UCSC and UC Berkeley since 1978.
He is co-author of the 2006 book, Harlem of the West: The San Francisco Fillmore Jazz Era, which features his restorations of salvaged photographs that portray musicians and patrons of the vibrant jazz scene in the Fillmore District during the 1940s and 50s. He has a pending book, “New Orleans Suite”, co-written with Prof. Eric Porter, due to be published by UC Press in 2013. He is also working on an extended photographic project in Cuba.
Jordana Moore Saggresse, Assistant Professor of Visual Studies and Diversity Studies for California College of Arts and Jennifer A. Gonzalez, Associate Professor, History of Art and Visual Culture for UC Santa Cruz, discuss how Basquiat influences and alienates modern day artists.