Shimon Attie: Stateless Views of Global

Public Lecture
Thursday, September 26, 2019
Elvehjem Building, L150

Friday, September 27, 2019
University Club, Room 212
Institute for Research in the Humanities Seminar Room
10:00AM – 12:00PM

*To attend the workshop, please RSVP to

Shimon Attie is an international visual artist whose work spans many media, but he is especially well-known for his site-specific public projections and video installations that focus on migrants, asylum seekers, and the persecuted. For “The Writing on the Wall” (1991–92) Attie projected images of Jews and Jewish life from 1930s Berlin onto the buildings and in the neighborhoods where the images were originally taken. This past fall, “Night Watch,” a series of video portraits of asylum seekers, many of them queer, was installed on a floating barge equipped with a large-scale LED screen. The floating media installation was on view along Manhattan and Brooklyn’s coast during the UN General Assembly week. In more recent years, Attie has also created a number of multiple-channel immersive video installations for museum and gallery exhibition. Currently on view through September 29th at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art is “Shimon Attie: The Crossing,” an exhibit curated by undergraduate and graduate students in the course Design Thinking For Exhibits. “The Crossing” (2017) is an art film made with Syrian refugees who had recently arrived in Europe, many on rafts over the Mediterranean, some just weeks before the filming. Attie’s current work in progress, “Time Twirl,” is a video installation which conflates our current political moment of Donald Trump and Brazil’s Jacir Bolsenaro and their historical antecedents, with Brazilian dance, Mel Brooks and comedic representation of fascism. Attie has received 12 year-long visual artist fellowships, including from the John S. Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the American Academy in Rome (The Rome Prize), The National Endowment for the Arts, The Pollock-Krasner Foundation, The Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, and Kunstfonds (Germany’s NEA equivalent).

Events made possible thanks to the generous financial support of the Anonymous Fund and the Center for Jewish Studies.

We would also like to thank the Women’s and Gender Studies Consortium and the Departments of Art and Art History.

Image caption: Night Watch (Mikaela with Liberty), 20’ wide LED screen on barge, Hudson River, 30”x45”/ 48”x72” Lambda Photograph, Shimon Attie, 2018, courtesy of Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.

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