Exhibition explores identity, history and the printed image in Philadelphia

Exhibition explores identity, history and the printed image in Philadelphia

Temple University

August 16, 2007

Philagrafika and Temple Gallery present
Re:Print Re:Present Re:View
Rachid Koraïchi, Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons, and Berni Searle.
September 7 – November 3, 2007

Opening reception Friday, September 7
Temple Gallery, PhiladelphiaTemple Gallery
259 N. 3rd Street



This exhibition presents the work of three artists from different parts of the world whose use of printed image reflects their commitment to community, collaboration and an expanded concept of the fine print. Organized by guest curator Salah Hassan, director of the Africana Studies and Research Center, Cornell University, the show will contain commissioned projects by Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons, Rachid Koraïchi and Berni Searle. Each of their projects engages some aspect of Philadelphia history as a means of exploring the African diaspora.

Two additional installations will also be on view at partner sites: Campos-Pons’, multi-media work will be installed at Paul Robeson House, 4951 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, and a series of banners by Rachid Koraïchi will be installed at the Church of the Advocate, 1801 West Diamond Street, Philadelphia, and opens on October 13.

Each artist has responded to historical figures, events, texts, myths and communities in Philadelphia to create a new work. Campos-Pons’ Corner/Opera. Rethinking a Site explores how history and tradition are passed from generation to generation, and how collective memory is preserved in sites and everyday objects. The work is conceived as a sort of an artist “gentrification” of the space of the historical Paul Robeson House, through specially designed wallpaper, textiles and other in situ interventions.

In his project, Homage to Love and Memory, Koraïchi continues his innovative exploration of a calligraphic abstraction rooted in Islamic Sufi ideas, selecting writings by seven men and women whose lives and work occupy intimate space in the memory of Philadelphia and its inhabitants. For each Koraïchi created banners that render a personal and individual homage to be installed at the George W. South Memorial Church of the Advocate, the site of several nationally significant events the National Conference of Black Power (1968), the Black Panther Conference (1970) and the first ordination of women in the Episcopal Church (1974).

Searle explores the issues of gender, domesticity and race in relation to visibility and erasure reminiscent of her own experiences under the ideological constructs of apartheid. In her multi-media installation, Searle reexamines the flagmaking myth of Betsy Ross as a starting point to look at aspects of nationalism. Her imagery evokes the illusiveness of symbols in contrast to the entrenched ideas and seemingly established notions around nations and nationalism.

The exhibition and related projects were organized by Philagrafika, a regional consortium of cultural organizations and individuals committed to the planning and realization of an international festival of the contemporary printed image in 2010, and Temple Gallery, a program of Exhibitions and Public Programs at Tyler School of Art, Temple University.

The Re:Print Re:Present Re:View project includes a publication, an essay by Hassan, and other components that will be available to download from the Web. Among the programs accompanying the exhibition are a lecture by Hassan on Thursday, September 6, a celebration and panel discussion at Church of the Advocate on Saturday, October 13, and a performance at the Paul Robeson House installation that same evening. For additional information about the artists, the exhibition projects and related programs, please go to www.temple.edu/tyler/exhibitions or www.philagrafika.org

This project has been supported by a grant from the Philadelphia Exhibitions Initiative, a program of the Philadelphia Center for Arts and Heritage, funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts and administered by The University of the Arts, Philadelphia. This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Pennsylvania Humanities Council. Temple Gallery programming is supported by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and the Friends of Temple Gallery.

For more information contact: Caitlin Perkins 215-701-6148 or cperkins@philagrafika.org

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Temple University
August 16, 2007

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