WELLESLEY, Mass. –The Davis Museum at Wellesley College presents Fatimah Tuggar: Home's Horizons, an exhibition of multimedia works across multiple platforms—including sculpture, photomontage, video, and augmented reality (AR). The works in the exhibition illuminate how humanity has employed technology to reshape its homes (including our shared planetary home) during the 20thand 21stcenturies. Curated by Amanda Gilvin, the exhibition opens on Thursday, September 12, and runs through Sunday, December 15, 2019.
“Fatimah Tuggar is one of the most original, incisive conceptual artists of the digital age,” said Gilvin, Sonja Novak Koerner '51 Senior Curator of Collections and Assistant Director of Curatorial Affairs at Davis Museum. “She shows us how to view the things around us in new ways, and to recognize how each object—whether a hand-dyed textile or a mobile phone—connects us to other people, their work, and their stories.”
Home’s Horizons is organized in six sections: The Pleasures of Work; Domestic Dreams; At the Party; Fusion Cuisine, People Watching, and Deep Blue Wells. The exhibition includes 26 large-scale, immersive works of art produced over recent decades of rapid technological innovation. The artist uses her own still photography and video from Nigeria, along with found materials from commercials, magazines, and archival footage to create photo montages and a video collage. Her sculptures combine handmade, mechanical, and digital media.
The artist explores the meanings of technology in different places and times. It is a recurrent theme in the artist’s work that tools come to mean different things as new technological inventions are created. In Working Woman (1997), the computer, telephone, lamp, and power strip represent technology, but so does the handmade screen in the background. The designs of West African windscreens like this one employ fractal geometry for both aesthetic and functional purposes.
New Work Created for the Davis Museum
The Davis Museum has commissioned a new work of art by Tuggar for the exhibition called Deep Blue Wells, which incorporates the developing medium of AR. Walking into Deep Blue Wells, the visitor will first see ceramic sculptures on the floor, which emulate the earthen walls once constructed around the indigo dye wells in Kano, Nigeria, which have been in continuous use for over five hundred years. Textiles from Kano will hang on the walls, and visitors will be able to use their mobile phones and tablets to access artwork in AR. Deep Blue Wellspushes at the limits of current digital technologies while honoring expert artisanal work. The installation has been developed in collaboration with the cutting-edge software development firm BrickSimple LLC.
Catalogue & Contributors
The exhibition is accompanied by the first monographic catalogue on Tuggar. Published and distributed by Hirmer Publishers and designed by the award-winning Stoltze Design in Boston, the volume includes a foreword by Ruth Gordon Shapiro ’37 Director Lisa Fischman, an introductory essay by exhibition curator Amanda Gilvin, an interview with the artist, and essays by Delinda Collier, Associate Professor of Art History, Theory, and Criticism at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Nicole Fleetwood, Associate Professor of American Studies and Art History at Rutgers University, and Jennifer Bajorek, Associate Professor of Comparative Literature, Hampshire College. The essays address Tuggar’s oeuvre within the confluence of the histories of conceptual, tech, feminist, and African art. The catalogue will include original content in AR.
The exhibition and catalogue are realized with generous funding from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and BrickSimple. Major funding for the exhibition’s development and realization was provided by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, with additional support from BrickSimple LLC. Generous support for the exhibition and publication was provided by Wellesley College Friends of Art at the Davis, the Kathryn Wasserman Davis ’28 Fund for World Cultures and Leadership, the Mildred Cooper Glimcher ’61 Endowed Fund, the E. Franklin Robbins Art Museum Fund, the Davis Museum and Cultural Center Endowed Fund, the Anonymous '70 Endowed Davis Museum Program Fund, the Judith Blough Wentz '57 Museum Programs Fund, and the Constance Rhind Robey ‘81 Fund for Museum Exhibitions.
About Fatimah Tuggar
Multimedia artist Fatimah Tuggar (b. 1967, Kaduna, Nigeria) uses technology as both a medium and a subject in her work to serve as metaphors for power relationships. She combines objects, images, and sounds from diverse cultures, geographies, and histories to comment on how media and technology diversely impact local and global realities. After graduating from the Kansas City Art Institute in 1992, she completed her MFA in sculpture at Yale University in 1995.
She has exhibited internationally since the 1990s, with previous solo exhibitions in New York, New York; Lisbon, Portugal; Geneva, Switzerland; Durham, North Carolina, and Newark, Delaware. An accomplished educator, Tuggar has taught numerous students who have gone on to successful careers in art, technology, and education in the United States and Canada. A 2019 Guggenheim Fellow, her many other awards include Charlotte Street Foundation Visual Artist Award, a W.A. Mellon Research Fellowship, a Prix Special du Jury at the Rencontres de Bamako photography biennial, and a Civitella Ranieri Fellowship in Umbria, Italy.
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About The Davis Museum at Wellesley College
ABOUT THE DAVIS MUSEUM One of the oldest and most acclaimed academic fine arts museums in the United States, the Davis Museum is a vital force in the intellectual, pedagogical, and social life of Wellesley College. It seeks to create an environment that encourages visual literacy, inspires new ideas, and fosters involvement with the arts both within the College and the larger community. ABOUT WELLESLEY COLLEGE AND THE ARTS The Wellesley College arts curriculum and the highly acclaimed Davis Museum are integral components of the College’s liberal arts education. Departments and programs from across the campus enliven the community with world-class programming–classical and popular music, visual arts, theatre, dance, author readings, symposia, and lectures by some of today’s leading artists and creative thinkers–most of which are free and open to the public. Since 1875, Wellesley College has been the preeminent liberal arts college for women. Known for its intellectual rigor and its remarkable track record for the cultivation of women leaders in every arena, Wellesley—only 12 miles from Boston—is home to some 2,400 undergraduates from 49 states and 58 countries.