Claremont, Calif. (January 23, 2023)—Pitzer College Art Galleries is hosting an opening reception on January 28, 2023, at 1 p.m. for Britt Ransom’s Arise and Seek and Maya Gurantz’s The Plague Archives. The reception kicks off with an artist talk from Ransom, a Carnegie Mellon University professor and sculptor, followed by a performance by interdisciplinary multimedia artist Gurantz.
Britt Ransom: Arise and Seek
Ransom’s sculptural practice explores the transformation of data and material through digital fabrication processes such as 3D scanning, 3D printing, laser cutting, and computer-controlled milling. Arise and Seek utilizes them to examine the artist’s familial history and its links to the Civil Rights movement in the early 20th century.
Arise and Seek begins with a speech by the artist’s great-great grandfather and activist Reverdy C. Ransom: “The spirit of John Brown beckons us to arise and seek the recovery of our rights, which our enemy, has sought forever to destroy.” More than 100 years later, the artist examines history and its impact on the present through the visual language of racist monuments, historic site plaques, and excerpts from her great-great grandfather’s other speeches in a familial archive.
Ransom is associate professor of art in sculpture, installation, and site work at Carnegie Mellon University. She is a recipient of the Hopper Prize, Joan Mitchell Center Residency, Los Angeles Clean Tech Incubator Residency, ZERO1 American Arts Incubator Fellowship, and other awards. Her writing has been published in the journal Leonardo published by MIT Press; The 3D Additivist Cookbook; In and Out of View: Art and the Dynamics of Circulation, Suppression, and Censorship; and more.
Maya Gurantz: The Plague Archives
Gurantz’s interdisciplinary research-based practice incorporates dance, video, performance, text, and installation, which she deploys to examine constructions of race, gender, and class in relation to shared myths, public rituals, and private desires.
These ideas are manifested in The Plague Archives, a site-specific installation comprising two video projections and a dense collection of archival material on the social, cultural, and political histories of epidemics and outbreaks. Spanning the 10th to 21st centuries, The Plague Archives presents a multi-layered transhistorical and intercultural discourse on the shifting attitudes and definitions of disease.
Defined by Gurantz as experimental “lecture-performances,” the videos weave connections between disparate narratives associated with plague histories, from microbiologist Louis Pasteur’s experiments on sheep to the relationship between pandemics and racism across multiple locales.
Gurantz is a Los Angeles-based artist whose work examines the social imaginaries of American culture and constructions of gender, race, class, and progress. She has had solo exhibitions at Grand Central Art Center, MCA Denver, and Greenleaf Gallery, and she has been included in group exhibitions at MoCA Utah, LAND (Nomadic Division), Art Center College of Design, Navel LA, Angels Gate Cultural Center, and more.
Her writing has been published in the Los Angeles Review of Books, This American Life, Notes on Looking, The Frame at KPCC, ACID-FREE, The Awl, InDance Magazine, and other publications, and she is co-host of the weekly culture and politics podcast The Sauce.
Arise and Seek
January 28–March 25, 2023
Pitzer College Art Galleries: Nichols Gallery
The Plague Archives
January 28–March 25, 2023
Pitzer College Art Galleries: Lenzner Family Art Gallery
Arise and Seek and The Plague Archives are curated by Director and Curator of Pitzer College Art Galleries Ciara Ennis.
For more information, email [email protected] or visit the Pitzer College Art Galleries page.