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Excavating History: artists take on historic sites Paperback – January 28, 2012
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Excavating History as a project unfolds and liberates from dust the stories of our past so they can vibrate in the present moment. The practice that Rebecca Keller, her students, and affiliated artists are together refining and developing -- that of interpreting the interpretations -- creates a double hinge that opens out into imaginative and fictional spaces, even as the artists choose to navigate the material constraints of sanctioned historic sites. This book provides a crucial link between these projects, each one intense and specific. --A. Laurie Palmer, artist & Professor, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Excavating History challenges revered assumptions about the role of history in contemporary life and how its public value is created. Through compelling case studies that embody the concept of excavating as both metaphor and methodology, Keller shows that artists unique training in visual culture allows them to illuminate and interpret the multiple layers of evidence that historic sites often ignore, hide, or simply don't see. Excavating History is not only an insightful meditation on the intersection of art and history but also a clear call for archivists, historians, and curators to partner with artists to harness the power of history. --Russell Lewis, Executive Vice President & Chief Historian, Chicago History Museum
Throughout these essays, there is a moral passion that ignites our collective imaginations about truth in history and the history of truth. For anyone who cares about whose stories get told and whose are left out and censored read his book -- you will be left reeling, provoked, intellectually challenged and inspired. --Lisa Yun Lee, Director of Jane Addams Hull-House Museum
About the Author
Rebecca Keller is an artist, researcher and writer with a strong background in museum education and curating. Honors include two Fulbrights, grants from the National Endowment for the Arts; the Illinois Arts Council; the College Art Association; the Grainger Foundation and the Anne Vogt Fuller /Marion Titus Searle Fellowship in Interdisciplinary Arts at the Ragdale Foundation. She was named as an American Association of Museums International Fellow, and in that capacity worked in museums in Sao Paulo and Recife, Brasil. She has exhibited her artwork widely and has written for a variety of museums and journals. Keller also writes fiction, and has been published in literary journals and nominated for a pushcart prize. She is a founding co-editor of YoYo Magazine.Org: an iterative, collaborative on-line journal designed to create a platform where creative people can encounter and respond to one another. Yo-Yo aims to be connective tissue between community-based, studio-based and site-dependent art practices; between fiction, poetry, essays and nonfiction; between art and literature, and hybrid forms of cultural production.
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