The exhibition Fractured Narratives
features contemporary art that addresses today’s global issues, including privacy, modern warfare, the environment, and freedom of expression. This selection of film, photography, painting, sculpture, and sound art by famous and emerging artists invites visitors to reflect upon the ambiguities of modern, fragmented accounts. These current intercontinental and cross-cultural stories supplement and enhance the largely historical world art collection at the David Owsley Museum of Art.
In the exhibition catalogue, curators Amy Galpin and Abigail Ross Goodman state that they selected works by artists who “purposefully avoid didactic or direct polemical expression as they take on social, political, or cultural content to create opportunities for a challenging, uncomfortable, and nuanced consideration of their subjects.”
For example, Maya Lin’s delicate sculpture, Silver Thames (2012), represents England’s most precious and fragile river ecosystem. Similarly, Alfredo Jaar’s hypnotically gorgeous film Muxima (2005)—that takes its title from an Angolan folk song that means heart—confronts that country’s legacy of colonialism, war, and AIDS through music and image.
Fractured Narratives draws much of its content from the Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida. By partnering with the Cornell Fine Arts Museum at Rollins, the Owsley brings recent work by international artists to the Ball State community and the city of Muncie. The artists include: Dawoud Bey, Eric Gottesman, Jenny Holzer, Alfredo Jaar, Amar Kanwar, William Kentridge, An-My Lê, Maya Lin, Goshka Macuga, “Moris” Israel Moreno, Rivane Neuenschwander, Trevor Paglen, Sandra Ramos, and Martha Rosler.
“I hope that Fractured Narratives inspires students, faculty, and residents to question and discuss the challenges of our increasingly interconnected world,” says Director Robert G. La France. Throughout the spring semester, the exhibition will be enriched by talks and performances. La France adds, “Although this show is temporary, the illustrated catalog will allow visitors to engage with the exhibition’s art and ideas long after the videos fade to black.” This exhibit and associated programming are supported by the John R. Emens Distinguished Professorship Fund.