New School News

Vera List Center Honors Student Writing on Thingness,, May 9

Fred Wilson, "Untitled (Pride & Prejudice)", 1993. Photo by Jessica Posner.

Student writers across disciplines, divisions, and levels will be honored on May 9th’s celebration of the winners of the 2012 Vera List New School Art Collection Writing Award for criticism, fiction, poetry and drama about a piece in The New School’s collection.

Award winners actively engaged the university’s art collection and found inspiration in the Vera List Center’s 2011-2013 focus theme, thingness. Thingness, literally the nature of matter, invites us to explore the material conditions of our lives in an age of social media, virtual realities, and disembodied existences. Through a comprehensive understanding of the relationship between objects and people, thingness can encourage more responsible and ethical politics and interactions across spectrums of experience.

The 2011-2012 Art Collection Writing Award winners interpreted thingness-related art works through both creative and critical perspectives. Hillary Bliss (M.A. student, Media Studies, New School for Public Engagement) critically considered Fred Wilson’s invocation of a thingness of memory, and its implications on the meaning of Wilson’s sculpture Untitled (Pride & Prejudice) as an artwork and for its audience. Rebecca Nison (M.F.A. student, Creative Writing) sought inspiration from Ann McCoy’s The Four Alchemical Doors in her story about a young boy whose love of dinosaurs is radically altered when he encounters the material realities of the past. Justin Allen (B.A. student, Eugene Lang College) transformed David Hammons’ African American Flag into a poem about color, abstraction and politics.

The winning essays will be published in Canon, the interdisciplinary student-run journal of The New School for Social Research. Winners will also celebrate their accomplishments at a public reading on Wednesday, May 9, 2012 at 11 a.m., next to Fred Wilson’s sculpture on view at the lobby of 66 Fifth Avenue. Sponsored by the Vera List Center for Art and Politics, Wilson will join the winners and discuss his work.

For more information, visit the Vera List Center website.

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