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List Center's season opens Oct. 9

The List Visual Arts Center's 1998-99 season gets going next week with two new shows and a contemporary art forum. About the House, Matthias Mansen's monumental woodblock prints concerning the domestic interior, and Lewis deSoto's installation work Recital open with a reception on Friday, Oct. 9 from 5:30-7:30pm at the LVAC's galleries (Building E15).

Recital centers on the piano compositions of Chiyo-Asaka Tuge, a Japanese piano composer and performer. When she died in 1967, her husband, a neurosurgeon, authored an unusual paean to her life and work entitled An Atlas of the Brain of a Pianist, which contained photographs and analyses of the composer's dissected brain. DeSoto's installation incorporates a digital player piano, which will play Ms. Tuge's compositions, as well as a copy of the Atlas.

"Recital literally stages the feelings of longing and loss the book represents," said Jennifer Riddell, assistant curator at the List Center.

Watch the Tech Talk Arts Calendar for listings on gallery talks and exhibition walk-throughs.


"Emerging Portraits: Women of the Arab-Islamic World," is the topic of the 1998 Max Wasserman Forum on Contemporary Art on Tuesday, Oct. 13 at 7:30pm in Bartos Theater.

According to Ms. Riddell, the forum will focus on "women of Eastern societies��������������������������� who have been historically little represented or signified in those cultures, due to patriarchial and/or religious forces and who have also been misrepresented by colonialist or Western societies."

Lead speaker and moderator Sarat Maharaj will discuss how African-Asian and Hindu-Islamic traditions are transformed in representations of Asian women in Britain, and how the contemporary is affected by canonical past. Mr. Maharaj was born and educated in South Africa and now teaches art history and critical theory at Goldsmith's College in London. He writes and lectures extensively on modernism and otherness, cultural difference and the nonwestern world.

Shirin Neshat is a contemporary Iranian artist whose photographs show Muslim women in uncharacteristic postures of aggression, exploring the paradoxical identity of independent women in revolutionary Islamic societies.

Professor Susan Slyomovics of the Department of Anthropology will discuss how the language of Palestinian painting contemplates the legacy of traditional pastoral life and the ancestral landscape as it is embodied in the woman, the village and the house.

"To trace the route back from exile to the Palestinian homeland when everything is threatened, the image of woman, frequently a peasant, embodies the lost Palestinian Arab villages," said Professor Slyomovics, who holds the Genevieve McMillan-Reba Stewart Professorship in the Study of Women of the Developing World at MIT and specializes in gender studies of the Middle East and North Africa, encompassing both Islamic and Christian cultures. "The Palestinian woman is embodied as mother and motherland, home and homeland, lover and beloved, the martyred bride."

The Max Wasserman Forum on Contemporary Art--cosponsored by the List Visual Arts Center and the Council for the Arts at MIT--bringstogether speakers from around the world to discuss an issue pertinent to contemporary art and culture. The forum was established in memory of Max Wasserman (SB 1935), a founding member of the Council for the Arts at MIT.

The forum will be followed by a reception with the speakers.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on October 7, 1998.

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