Collective Members

Samira Shaheen: The Peace Clock

The Peace Clock installation can be relevant to many countries of conflict.  But It isEspecially relevant to Palestine and Israeli.  Any discussion of Palestine and Israeli is Bound to be controversial, and so is having an art exhibit about the subject. Samira Shaheen is using the language of art to bridge and explore her Palestinian roots and the issues that continue to
Threaten Palestinians and a viable Palestinian statehood. She addresses the issues and experiences that divide Israelis and Palestinians: borders, walls, citizenship, Identity and family roots. The Peace Clock is  her personal answer to the on going struggle and to engage the audience.

The Peace Clock is a re-purposed clock transformed  into an interactive Peace Clock. The  exhibit aimed to create a Space to Mediate about peace between Palestinians and Israelis.  The viewers were invited to walk around the clock andWrite their message for peace. These messages were dropped in a box . They were also invited to write more Publicly on large sheets of paper that we’re collected every few days and shown at a later exhibit.  The PeaceClock was in 2 different exhibits one in 2015 and again in 2017.  As viewers engaged it was a profound experienceFor some, and a sobering reality for others that nothing has changed.

As one critic wrote about the exhibit “Rights of Passage” is an artistic journey of an American with roots in Palestine, it is a personal artistic narrative and a political response to thorny issues that prevent
The two cultures from co-existing. In this context the gallery itself becomes a Metaphor. By transforming the space, the language of art becomes a catalyst for Exploration of a peaceful resolution. Even as Israelis and Palestinians contest Over the rights of self determination a globally-recognized national identity.

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Artist & Project Highlights, Collective Members

Susan R. Kirshenbaum: Barbie on the Cusp

Susan R. Kirshenbaum’s work is about uncovering, revealing, and baring naked truths. It is personal, political, and feminist. From a figurative artist who draws models, to creating a personal narrative using iconic Barbie Dolls, Kirshenbaum has crossed over into new territory for her work. This project reflects a return to storytelling that is reminiscent of her early work with performance and video art in the 1980s. By incorporating aspects of her practice that had long been set aside, she shifted from a 2-dimensional presentation into an immersive experience. She filled a gallery’s walls and floor with objects including: drawings, costumes and props, Barbie dolls of all ages (well-worn, naked, and mostly headless), old photos of her, an artist-made book, printed books, and an open book to “write your own Barbie story here”, plus a video of reading her story aloud. The room was cordoned off with hazard tape. Barbie on the Cusp was created to plumb the depths of the artist’s childhood traumas and how she used Barbie to play out her fears. Barbie is the doll that sets an example to youngsters since the late 1950s and can still be used as a role model or a safe vehicle with which to experiment and role play ideas around our body, our hair, our gender, our sexuality, our family, our career, and in this case, on the verge of adulthood, our secrets. The falseness of the old Barbie bodies connects to the artist’s ongoing pursuit of capturing the essence of a person through drawing. Encountering this installation might leave visitors considering their own stories of youth in relation to Barbie and how these early experiences have played out in their lives today.

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Artist & Project Highlights, Collective Members, Invisibility Projects, News & Updates, Research, Testimonies

Welcome to The Athenaeum

Named for the sanctuary of Athena frequented by poets and scholars, this virtual reading room (magazine, blog, etc.) is a repository for news, research, projects, artists, and testimonies on the wide topic of Invisibility.

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