Teresa A. Cole (Session Chair)
Newcomb Art Department
New Orleans, LA 70118 USA
Panel Session: "Kultur Kontakt Session #2: Migrating Souls: The Effects of International Exchange on Artists.
(A Cross-Cultural Panel)"
Teresa Cole, (Session Chair) Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
“Migrating Souls: The Effects of International Exchange on Artists”
Gesine Janzen, Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana, USA
"History, Memory, and Identity: Printmaking as a Connection Between Generations"
David Lilburn and Joachim Fischer, University of Limerick, Ireland
“Tales of Four Cities, Moscow – Warsaw - Berlin – Dublin”
Stephen Lovett, Manukau School of Visual Arts, Auckland New Zealand
"No Place Like Home"
Andreas Schönfeldt, Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria, Republic of South Africa
“Afrikaans counterpart Kontakt: Collaboration between North Ireland and South Africa” (working title )
Open-access print workshops provide a setting for cultural exchange. Is a “United Print World” created? Is there truly a “common culture of the print”? Some would argue that through globalization individual identity is lost. I would argue that individual identity is expanded and asserted. I think that the common language of print is what enables printmakers to communicate and present their diverse worlds. That through sharing working experiences a rich exchange occurs affecting the visitor as well as the host. This exchange expands all the participants’ views of making, opening dialogues and breaking down stereotypes
So why leave the comforts of an established studio with routine patterns for somewhere different. First and foremost is travel —the shift to some place new some place novel. What does travel prove? According to Lucy Lippard in her book On the Beaten Track: Tourism, Art and Place Travel “…proves solidity or desirability of home base, for others it provokes longing for the grass on the other side of the fence” The printmaker’s desire to find a workshop is because it is the familiar within the strange. It is a known quantity within the foreign experience. A site where the visitor is no longer a tourist, the visitor becomes worker, immigrant and validates the individual to professional artist.
For artists travel is not an emptying out it is a filling-up. Empirical knowledge and observation are critical to development and expansion of works and imagery. Some travelers search for fact while others seek sensations. Does this desire to seek out someplace different stem from an instinct for discovery as far back as the age of enlightenment when the scientific traveler was also the visual recorder of the alien or even earlier when we were hunters and gathers. As Lippard states “for the most part we see travel as escape, getting away going some there else often inhabited by other s whose dissimilarities will be exaggerated and exoticized and whose similarities will be dismissed or hidden
although for them somewhere else is home
So is the artist shift to other studios more an act of migration? Or is it an instinct to find information, experience and concepts like the monarch butterfly that migrates to Mexico via several generations. In August of 1986 I put the entire contents of my Baltimore apartment, into my parent’s attic and purchased a one-way ticket to Aberdeen, Scotland. My mother said to me when she dropped me off at the airport “I hope you find what you’re looking for. At Peacock Printmakers in Aberdeen I found more than I ever anticipated: discussion, dialogue, support, technical advice, a space to work, and other printmakers. This one 9 month experience not only cemented my commitment to the print world but also introduced me to people from Cape Town, South Africa; Towoomba, Queensland, Australia; Lawrence, Kansas, USA; and many Scottish printmakers. Some of these artists I’ve lost track of but I’ve maintained contact with many, and others I’ve found again over the years.
The effect of working in a space together creates ties that are lasting. From little print nuances to the different ways visual information is filtered through diverse cultural lenses. Not only can printmakers share experiences and ideas but because of the multiple they can share and trade work as well. Many don’t have access, print facilities are not easy to procure on an individual basis but beyond that information about techniques and technologies is available at theses sites. Also important are the collaborations the stem and grow from these exchanges.
The concepts discussed in this panel will be but not limited to: issues of globalization and individual identity; problems of colonization and cultural imperialism; the influences a printmaking workshop can have on aesthetic decisions; the importance of working and living in other cultures; the ties and dialogues created; the trials and tribulations of being an outsider; and the clarity of being a visitor. Through actual examples of art works, explanations of collaborative projects and abstract concepts the goal of this panel is to explore how these cross-cultural microcosms affect the individuals that visit and the locals that connect with the visitors.
TERESA COLE is an Associate Professor at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana where she holds the Ellsworth Woodward Professorship in Art at Tulane University. She earned a BFA in fiber arts from the Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore and received much of her early print education as a working member of Peacock Printmakers in Aberdeen Scotland. She completed an MFA in printmaking from the Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Ms. Cole shows both nationally as well as internationally. Recent public collections include: The Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia; the New Orleans Museum of Art, and the Auckland Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand. Recent solo exhibitions include: “Print Installations” at The University of Northern Iowa, in Cedar Falls, and “Tacit Translations” at the Jonathan Ferrara Gallery, New Orleans, Louisiana. She has curated two international print portfolios “Continental Drift” and “The Body Politic” (co-curated with Judy Woodburn) and will spend this summer as a visiting artist at Anchor Graphics, in Chicago and Hard Ground Printmakers in Cape Town, South Africa.