By Mary Kate
One of the most important functions of the Academic Programs department at the Nasher Museum is also one of the least exciting tasks. Searching through ACES for courses for my own registration is incredibly stressful and I have come to dread the harrowing task. However, I found it oddly satisfying when I finished browsing through the entire course catalog in hopes of finding courses that might benefit from a trip to see an upcoming exhibition. Yes, I looked through every single course in ACES. But before I could complete this daunting task I had to do a little research on the particular exhibition, “Time Capsule, Age 13 to 21: The Contemporary Art Collection of Jason Rubell.” I looked up each artist and drew as many connections as I could between what type of works they make, the materials they use, their nationalities, themes of the works, and many other categories. The more themes I found, the more classes I could find that might benefit from its subject matter. Searching through the collection I found multiple feminist pieces, many artists with a common German heritage, and pieces concerned with loss. In looking at the exhibition from so many different angles, I discovered what ties an exhibition together. A museum exhibition doesn’t just consist of pieces that look cool together, pieces entirely from the same artist, or works that have the same singular focuses – there are always lines that tell a story. The “Time Capsule” exhibition, a group of works largely from the 1980s, tells me stories the unconventionality of the time, and banality, among other things. By the time I was ready to browse the course catalog, I was ready for the task at hand. I had put a lot of effort into brainstorming how the exhibition might work for all sorts of departments and wanted to see the fruits of my labor. I searched through the categories and Duke faculty who might have research interests in some aspect of the exhibition. By the time I finished I was relieved, but content to know that my work will bring more people to see this exhibition!
IMAGE: Gallery view, including works by Thomas Ruff, “Portrait [I. Graw]” (1988) and “Portrait [J. Rubell]” (1989).