Staging Ground for the Visual Arts: A Conversation with Martin Beck and Liz Lerman

  • Martin Beck: Program, 2014–15

  • Martin Beck: Program, 2014–15

  • Liz Lerman, Healing Wars: Early Explorations, Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, Nov 2011

  • Martin Beck: Program, 2014–15

  • Liz Lerman, Healing Wars: Early Explorations, Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, Nov 2011

  • Liz Lerman, Healing Wars: Early Explorations, Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, Nov 2011

Performance + Talk

  1. Apr 9, 2015, 6:30 – 9 pm
Level 0, Lecture Hall

In 2011 the renowned choreographer Liz Lerman staged Healing Wars: Early Explorations throughout the Carpenter Center, a performance of sound, projections and dance that examined the impact of war and trauma on individuals and society. Interweaving research into historical accounts of the American Civil War with contemporary reflections by veterans of conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, the performance utilized the entire five floors of the Carpenter Center. Spectators were guided through a series of immersive performance vignettes where both public and private spaces of the architecture functioned as theatrical backdrops.

Since early 2014, the internationally known artist Martin Beck who has been researching the exhibition and pedagogical programs of the Carpenter Center since its founding in the early 1960s. Beck’s inquiries take shape over the course of a two-year exhibition titled Program, which manifests in a series of episodic interventions that utilize architecture, design, electronic communication, and printed matter to engage contemporary spectators in this history. The episodes depart from his study of the originating vision for the Carpenter Center to be a totalizing, immersive learning site-as-exhibition for the visual arts.

A conversation between Martin Beck and Liz Lerman moderated by James Voorhies, the John R. and Barbara Robinson Family Director of the Carpenter Center, will look closely at these artists’ work and experience with the Carpenter Center, discussed within the context of how the arts function and the role it plays in exhibition and educational capacities at Harvard University.

Martin Beck

Martin Beck is an artist whose exhibitions and projects engage questions of historicity and authorship and often draw from the fields of architecture, design, and popular culture. Recent exhibitions and projects include Approx. 13 Hours at castillo/corrales, Paris (2014); Last Night at Kunsthaus Glarus, Switzerland (2013); Presentation at 47 Canal in New York and the particular way in which a thing exists at Leonard & Bina Ellen Gallery, Concordia University, Montreal (both 2012); contributions to the 10th Shanghai Biennale (2014), the 29th São Paulo and the 4th Bucharest Biennales (2010); and Panel 2—“Nothing better than a touch of ecology and catastrophe to unite the social classes….” at Gasworks in London (2008) and at the Arthur Ross Architecture Gallery at Columbia University, New York (2009). Beck was co-curator of Tell It To My Heart: Collected by Julie Ault at Museum der Gegenwartskunst, Basel; Culturgest, Lisbon; and Artists Space, New York (2013). His books include an Exhibit viewed played populated (2005), About the Relative Size of Things in the Universe (2007), The Aspen Complex (2012), and Last Night (2013).

Liz Lerman

Liz Lerman is a choreographer, performer, writer, educator and speaker, and the recipient of numerous honors, including a 2002 MacArthur "Genius Grant" Fellowship and a 2011 United States Artists Ford Fellowship in Dance. A key aspect of her artistry is opening her process to various publics from shipbuilders to physicists, construction workers to ballerinas, resulting in both research and outcomes that are participatory, relevant, urgent, and usable by others. She founded Liz Lerman Dance Exchange in 1976 and led it until 2011. Her current work, Healing Wars, is touring across the US. Liz conducts residencies on the Critical Response Process, creative research, the intersection of art and science, and the building of narrative within dance performance at such institutions as Harvard University, Yale School of Drama, Wesleyan University, Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and the National Theatre Studio among many others. Her third book, Hiking the Horizontal: Field Notes from a Choreographer, was published in 2011 by Wesleyan University Press.

Staging Ground for the Visual Arts: A Conversation with Martin Beck and Liz Lerman is sponsored by the Harvard University Committee on the Arts (HUCA), a university-wide body, charged with advising the president and provost on developing policies and plans that will enhance the presence of the arts at the university and make the arts a central component of the university’s educational mission.

Harvard Voices

Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts and Harvard Art Museums
8 pm, immediately following the talk with Martin Beck and Liz Lerman

In this immersive theatrical performance, produced by the American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.) at Harvard University, the audience is invited to experience the architecture of the Carpenter Center and Harvard Art Museums through the words of Harvard's alumni poets.  Brought to life by current students, Harvard Voices, directed by A.R.T.’s Resident Director Allegra Libonati, features composer and conductor Matthew Aucoin (Harvard College ’12) and bass Operatic singer Davone Tines (Harvard College ’09).

The performance begins at 8 pm at CCVA and concludes in the courtyard of the Harvard Art Museums.