An Art Panel on April Fool’s Night

from "The Red Village," Jason Eskenazi's photo essay of a Jewish Village in Azerbaijan

What is hovering in the room of this image? What is outside the window? Wait and see and be seized. Apprehend the light coming in: the beating of wings? What happens when we still the eye, when we lavish attention on one small thing?

Join KtBnik Ashley Makar, Thursday April 1 at 7pm, for a panel discussion at the School of Visual Arts. The panel will explore the relationship between image and imagination, sight and insight, surprise and recognition. Art historian Shira Brisman will compare contemporary photographs with late medieval paintings, to illuminate how documentary images borrow from Christian iconography and how pictures serve memory. Art scholar Joel Upton will offer the theory and practice of contemplative beholding as a way of “open-eyed meditation” with images. Photographer and filmmaker Daniel Cherrin will discuss the art of documentary as a form of activism.

Brisman is a PhD candidate in the History of Art at Yale University and former curatorial assistant at the Jewish Museum in New York. Her dissertation examines how Northern Renaissance artists like Albrecht Dürer began to conceive of the hand-written letter as possessing message-bearing properties analogous to the work of art. Upton is Professor of Art and the History of Art at Amherst College, where he guides students through a semester-long encounter with a single painting. He’s currently working on “the ‘art’ of beholding: a contemplative guide to Netherlandish painting.” Cherrin is a photographer who documents the struggles of Bedouins in Egypt, African refugees and Palestinians in Israel. He is a member of ActiveVision, an Israeli association of artists and filmmakers who use images to promote awareness and social change among disenfranchised communities by putting the camera in their hands.

Moderated by KtB associate editor Ashley Makar, graduate associate in Religion and the Arts at Yale Divinity School’s Institute of Sacred Music, the conversation will focus on curiosities and practices of looking that can awe us into relationship with images. We will engage in close seeing; we will wonder aloud, attending to the turning points in images–from Netherlandish icons to Negevian photographs.

Thursday, April 1, School of Visual Arts, 209 East 23 Street, 3rd-floor Amphitheater

Ashley Makar works with refugees in Connecticut. She does community outreach for IRIS--Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services, in New Haven. She has an e-book of essays, You Were Strangers: Dispatches from Exile. Ashley has published essays in Tablet, The Birmingham News, The Struggle Continues (the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute weblog), Religion Dispatches, and The New Haven Register.