Berman exhibit lands on campus

Colleen Murphy

This summer, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, the Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art unveiled the collection Science Fiction, which is available to view from July 2 to October 6.

The exhibit displays interactive and enlightening pieces that work together to establish a sense of curiosity in its visitors. The Grizzly spoke to Ginger Duggan and Judy Fox, curators of the exhibit, about the massive display, which features the work of twelve artists from around the globe. Duggan and Fox  answered together via email.

Please talk about the process you went through for curating the pieces. Did you have a team to help? How long did it take for the official lineup to be finalized? Were any pieces cut in the process? 

The process of organizing an exhibition is rather organic, and for us, evolves over a long period of time. We are always looking at art – in museums, galleries, publications, fairs, etc. – and when we find that we are seeing a number of artists working with a shared theme, or approach, and the work and its content interests us, tells us about the world we’re living in or predicts conditions that may unfold in the future, then we think this might be the beginning of an exhibition idea.

As we continue to look, we hone this list, refine it, add to it, shift its direction as we see more work. This process that unfolds usually over at least several years, and it’s in conversation and sharing images and information between us that the exhibition finds its shape and eventual content. 

What do you want visitors of the Berman to gain from this installation? Any specific emotions you were trying to evoke with the presence of this collection? What is its purpose? 

There are two related connective tissues amongst the works in the exhibition: one is an investigation of the nature of evidence; the other is the interchange between fact and fiction, between science and imagination—that is how they fuel and inform each other.

We hope the exhibition will guide visitors to start to think about these issues in these days of fake news, and a disavowal of science at the highest levels, for example.

There are many different mediums represented in this exhibit, from sculptures to prints. Do you have a personal favorite? Why? 

This is always an incredibly difficult question, as each work in the exhibition holds a particular place in the inquiry. Each work shares in the dialogues noted above, but in its own terms. 

We’re really grateful that the great staff and the museum was game for the unusual nature of some of the works such as allowing 14,000 pounds of sand into the gallery, digging up the grounds outside, suspending mylar from the incredibly high ceiling.