Mapping Apparitions: An Amorphous Art History Pilot
Curated by Colleen Gutwein O’Neal
November 20, 2021 – January 15, 2022
Opening Reception Saturday, November 20, 2021 7 – 11pm
Additional Gallery Hours: December 4, 11, 18 and January 15 from 1 – 5pm
*Please bring your images, memories, and ephemera to document in the exhibition.
Mapping Apparitions is an experimental pilot exhibition at the intersection of art, collective memory, and public history. Merging digital humanities with collective history and storytelling, vaguely similar to a wikipedia-type system, this interactive exhibition and memory collection dances around shared experiences centered on Newark arts and artists without demanding a singular narrative, rather inviting a chorus of narratives in flux.
It is of great importance to document and create access to art and artists in the Newark community, it is equally important to document and make accessible the culture in which art was created and artists have been nurtured. To build upon and make accessible a rich variety of perspectives and experiences is essential to understanding the culture. Reggae historian Lloyd Bradley summarizes this historical perspective in a recent interview on Nzinga Sounds while referring to a Bruce Lee film, Enter the Dragon. “Bruce Lee and some little kid were looking at something and he (Lee) was pointing at the moon and he said, ‘concentrate on the finger and you’ll miss the glory of the moon,’ and this, it sums so much up right. If you concentrate on the records on your shelf, you’ll miss the glory of the reggae culture that created it.”
Mapping Apparitions pulls inspiration from the oral history and exhibition project Kea’s Ark of Newark at Gallery Aferro, the interactive, unrehearsed, and creatively driven Lime Sessions at Index Art Center, Post Pocket Utopia’s 2015 collaborative exhibition #SEEINGNEWARK at a pop-up gallery in The Gateway Project studios, and the community-based methodology and diverse archives of the Queer Newark Oral History Project supported by Rutgers, Newark.
This pilot exhibition is focused on providing information and visual cues to visitors to inspire recollection. Lowell Craig’s seminal documentary 31 Central, a 2017 film chronicling artists working in studios at 31 Central amid the looming threat of eviction will be screened continuously throughout the exhibition. Additional cues including reimagined archive images and resource materials will be made available intended to conjure memories of five Newark arts spaces no longer physically accessible. Visitors are encouraged to share ephemera, photographs, and memories from 31 Central, City Without Walls (at both their 41 Shipman Street and 6 Crawford Street, possibly additional locations), Red Saw, Le Joc, and Unicorn Gallery.
The collective history emerging from the pilot exhibition will be used to inform and build the base of knowledge for a future “ghost map” of Newark arts spaces, happenings, and public works no longer physically accessible, in some cases gone completely. Target completion date of the ghost map is spring, 2025. Information collected through the pilot exhibition Mapping Apparitions will be made public on the OMEKA open-sourced content management platform and credited to each individual author.
Special thanks to Index Art Center, without which experimental pilot exhibitions like this would not be possible. Index is a volunteer driven 501(c)3 non-profit gallery that has been serving its community for over a decade. Please consider making a donation HERE if you can.
Michael A. Gonzales, “Legacy – City Without Walls,” Non-profit arts, Newark Arts, October 4, 2018, https://www.newarkartsjournal.org/editorials-1/legacyofcwow;
The Gateway Project, “TONIGHT (Em)Power Dynamics Exhibition and More!,” Campaign archive, RSS feed, 2015, https://us8.campaign-archive.com/?u=a08cd6b4777c31b8d8ac86f35&id=61f76fd044&e=9517662c25-;
Gallery Aferro, “Kea Tawana,” Non-profit arts organization, Aferro, June 6, 2020, https://aferro.org/kea-tawana/;
Index Art Center/Dominique Duroseau, “The Lime Sessions: 1/16 to 2/6,” social media, Facebook Events, January 16, 2016, https://www.facebook.com/events/index-art-center/the-lime-sessions-116-to-26/1671800519765913/;
“Queer Newark | Oral History Project,” archive / repository, Queer Newark Oral History Project, accessed October 16, 2021, https://queer.newark.rutgers.edu/;
N. T. S. Radio, “NZINGA SOUNDZ – BUNNY WAILER & U ROY TRIBUTE W/ LLOYD BRADLEY,” NTS Radio, March 18, 2021, https://www.nts.live/shows/nzinga-soundz/episodes/bunny-wailer-u-roy-tribute-18th-march-2021.