POLITICS IN COLLAGE
Collage as a political art form has a particular relevance to today as well as a strong historical context. From its roots in the European anti-facist and Russian revolutionary movements in the early 20th century to its expressions during the U.S. Civil Rights era to its current manifestations in the fight for social justice in South America, collage is used by artists around the world as an impetus for social and political change. Kolaj Magazine has reported on how collage was used to visualize the 2019-2021 Estallido Social in Chile which incidentally birthed a new collage community. In Fall 2021, Kolaj Institute organized a series of residencies in which artists explored the intersection of politics and collage.
Led by G.E. Vogt, the residencies produced a collection of artworks that debuted at Kolaj Fest New Orleans in 2022 as an exhibition at The Domino. In July 2022, Kolaj Institute released Politics in Collage, a book of artwork, and an Online Exhibition.
A third residency is planned for November 2022.
KOLAJ LIVE ONLINE
Politics in Collage Book & Exhibition Launch
Sunday, July 31, 2PM EDT
Join Kolaj Institute, G.E Vogt, and four of the exhibiting artists—Phyllis Famiglietti (Massachusetts, USA), Gayathiri Kamalakanthan (England, United Kingdom), Penny Mateer (Pennsylvania, USA), and Amanda Lynch (England, United Kingdom)—in a discussion surrounding the residency, their artwork, and the need for more complex works engaged in political dialogue. The event is free & open to everyone. Registration is required.
ABOUT KOLAJ LIVE ONLINE
Kolaj LIVE Online is a series of virtual programs in the form of forums, panels, workshops, artist talks, studio visits, and other activities that allow people to come together, learn and talk about collage, and connect in real time to the collage community. Our goal is to bring the community together in a spirit of mutual support and fellowship.
ONLINE EXHIBITION & BOOK
Politics in Collage
In a time where the challenges facing us as individuals and communities have grown to seemingly insurmountable levels, further exacerbated by the increasing toxicity of the political climate, artists are using their work to confront these challenges by engaging their viewers in a higher level of discourse. Through a virtual residency, twenty-five artists created collage works examining complex socio-political issues that contemporary society is contending with, in order to spark meaningful dialogue and inspire deeper engagement.
Although the main thread running through Politics in Collage is “political” in its broadest definition, each artist chose specific issues to explore through the medium of collage. Their artwork allows viewers an opportunity to reflect on various forms of racism, ableism, sexism, and xenophobia; the consequences of colonization and capitalism; the effects of contemporary media; and the eco-grief or anxiety associated with climate change. By using collage, a form composed of juxtaposing a variety of disparate elements together, the artists are able to tell nuanced stories about their highly complex topics, inviting the viewers to regard a potentially overwrought issue from a fresh angle.
JUNE & JULY 2022
Politics in Collage Exhibition at Kolaj Fest New Orleans
at The Domino in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
14 June-20 July 2022
Opening Reception: 17 June 2022, 7-9PM
Politics in Collage Opening Reception, 7PM to 9PM at The Domino. This event will be an opening reception and book launch for the exhibition, Politics In Collage. Although the main thread running through this exhibition is “political” in its broadest definition, the artists each chose specific issues to explore through the medium of collage. There are examinations of various forms of racism, ableism, sexism, and xenophobia; the consequences of colonization and capitalism; the effects of contemporary media; and the eco-grief or anxiety associated with climate change. By using collage, a form composed of juxtaposing a variety of disparate elements together, the artists are able to tell nuanced stories about their highly complex topics, inviting the viewers to regard a potentially overwrought issue from a fresh angle. Read MORE.
“Collage as an art form, is ideally situated for this political work due to its inherent nature of distilling and juxtaposing various elements from the overload of information and sources we’re exposed to on a regular basis, into one cohesive story or statement. Collage allows us to make sense of increasingly complex and interconnected social & political subjects through this selected juxtaposition”
Politics in Collage Residency Round 2
Kolaj Institute is pleased to announce the thirteen artists selected to participate in a second Politics in Collage Residency. In four virtual meetings over four weeks and through ongoing, online discussion, artists will examine contemporary social and political issues as shown through collage. Artists will hear from a variety of guest speakers about the historical context of this genre; how to articulate complex political subjects both in their work and in promotions of their work; and explore how we can continue to inspire meaningful engagement with difficult topics through collage. Meet the participating artists HERE.
Alexander Helmintoller (Carlsbad, CA) | Xxavier Carter (Dallas, TX) | Patricia Figueiredo (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) | Lilith Frakes (Ellensburg, WA) | Jenn Arras (New York, NY) | Simone Löhndorf (Lund, Sweden) | Carmen Angela Yandoc (Muntinlupa, Metro Manila, The Philippines) | Mori Anderson Hitchcock (Chester, PA) | Casey Rocheteau (Detroit, MI) | Dawn Conry (Phoenix, AZ) | Cathy Greenhalgh (London, England, United Kingdom) | Amanda Lynch (Castle Cary, Somerset, England) | Neha Luhar-Trice (Jacksonville, FL)
Politics in Collage Residency Round One
Kolaj Institute is pleased to announce the twelve artists selected to participate in the Politics in Collage Residency. Collage as a political art form has a particular relevance to today as well as a strong historical context. Artists will hear from a variety of guest speakers about the historical context of this genre; how to articulate complex political subjects both in their work and in promotions of their work; and explore how we can continue to inspire meaningful engagement with difficult topics through collage. Artists will conceptualize and begin work on a piece exploring a political or social subject of their choosing. Meet the participating artists HERE.
Nola Abboud (Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England) | Jana Zimmer (Santa Barbara, CA) | Kike Congrains (Lima, Peru) | Phyllis Famiglietti (Brookline, MA) | Mary Hope Lee (Phoenix, AZ) | Jordan Fobbs (Goleta, CA) | Bryan Robertson (Prescott, AZ) | Emily Tironi (Cambridge, NY) | Gayathiri Kamalakanthan (London, England) | Stephanie Todhunter (Medford, MA) | Susana Belen (Thornton, NSW, Australia) | Penny Mateer (Pittsburgh, PA)
G.E. Vogt’s entry into the visual arts stemmed out of her original training as a performance artist and director, highly focused on social and political themes. In order to create the physical performance art she was interested in, she would gather “found” materials from as many arts as possible until the performance pieces became living collages, each telling a visceral story to their audiences. The unique ability of collage to use the juxtaposition of complementary and contradictory elements in order to explore a multi-faceted theme is what drew Vogt to working in collage exclusively. This characteristic of incorporating any medium, material, or found object into telling a complex narrative is what makes it one of the ideal art forms in which to create work about complicated social and political issues. Since 2017, she has exhibited in various group shows across the U.S. In 2019, Fresh Paint Gallery held a major exhibition of Vogt’s work and she spoke on the “Women In Collage” panel at the annual Kolaj Fest New Orleans. Most recently, she has begun curating the SoPoCollage page to showcase other artists who specialize in social & political collage, and participated in Kolaj Institute’s Money Money Collage Residency. Her works have continued to explore many of the themes she has been interested in since her performance work and which have become increasingly relevant – the unmanageable socioeconomic gap, the various forms of inequality prevalent in the U.S, and the toxicity of our political climate.
John J Heartfield
Red Burns, the founder of NYU’s multimedia program, described John J Heartfield as “a wonderful blend of the technical and the artistic, a musician with a keen appreciation for the visual arts.” John received a Tisch School of the Arts award “for pioneering work in interactive media.” John is the paternal grandson of the groundbreaking Dada artist and graphic design genius, John Heartfield. With the artist Lance Hansen, John is writing a graphic novel focusing on his grandfather’s cinematic life. The first chapter, “The Night the Nazis Came to Murder My Grandfather”, appears online and in print in The Nation Magazine (April 12, 2021). A chapter regarding German Dada’s turbulent years will be available soon. An accomplished musician and songwriter, John has brought together a group of brilliant musicians for One Hand!, an upcoming international multimedia event to encourage voter participation. You can find out more about John’s words and music at JohnHeartfield.com. John curates The John Heartfield Exhibition (JohnHeartfieldExhibition.com). In 2009, he built the exhibition to increase his grandfather’s recognition and renown. The Heartfield Exhibition continues to grow beyond the most optimistic expectations. Today, it features world-class contemporary collage artists. Events worldwide ask Professor Heartfield to give his interactive presentation, Art As A Weapon. Audiences are particularly delighted to hear stories about his grandfather’s fascinating personality and anecdotes from when John enjoyed vacations with his grandfather in Europe.
Wendy Ann Parker
Wendy Ann Parker is an art historian currently teaching at Iowa State University. A Vermont native, she moved to the Midwest to do her graduate work at the University of Iowa, home of the International Dada Archives. Wendy’s research is centered on activist art, and her MA Thesis examined the political collage/photomontage work of Dada artists including John Heartfield, Hannah Höch, Raoul Hausmann, and Kurt Schwitters. She is currently finishing a doctoral dissertation focusing on more contemporary artists, particularly Martha Rosler. Wendy is especially interested in how activist artists reach their intended audiences and feels that in today’s culture of visual sophistication, collage is arguably the most potent medium for communicating those messages.
Teri Henderson is a Baltimore based independent curator, staff writer, and the founding director of the Black Collagists Arts Incubator. Henderson holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Texas Christian University. She formerly held a curatorial internship at Ghost Gallery in Seattle, Washington. Henderson previously served as the Art Law Clinic Director for Maryland Volunteer Lawyers For The Art and is currently on their board of directors. Her written work has been seen in: All SHE Makes, Justsmile Magazine, Kinfolk Travel, and the St. James Encyclopedia of Hip Hop Culture. Her work as co-director of WDLY addresses shrinking the gap between the spaces that contemporary artists of color inhabit and the resources of the power structures of the art world through the curation and artistic production of events. She is also the Gallery Coordinator for Connect + Collect Gallery. In her work as a staff writer for BmoreArt she highlights the voices of Black, brown, queer and non-traditional artists and creatives. In the Fall of 2020 Henderson started Black Collagists, an arts incubator designed to research and collect the work of Black collage artists internationally.
Liucija Dervinytė, currently living in Vilnius, Lithuania, is a visual artist and culture manager, a co-founder of Ideas Block cultural organization and Arttice digital cultural networking platform. She studied visual arts and painting in M.K.Čiurlionis Art School in Vilnius, and received her BA in Textiles from The University of Edinburgh. Through her creative practices Liucija explores the field of sustainability and the role of arts, culture and community in supporting the exchange of ideas and knowledge, raising awareness of human impact on the ecosystems, current environmental, social and political issues. Liucija’s artworks are inspired by natural structures and the ideas of interconnectedness. She works with collage, watercolor and embroidery. Sometimes these techniques intertwine or are used separately, informing one another and expanding on similar ideas or visions. In addition, her collages become covers for her handmade notebooks and embroidery is used in refashioning second-hand clothing.
Ginger Sedlarova considers herself both a collage artist and a storyteller. Sometimes her work is a short story, sometimes it’s a novel. But it’s always surreal, full of observations about the absurdity of daily life or conversations with the cities she’s lived in, visited and loved. Her practice grew from her love of making photo collages in her former career as a graphic artist on daily newspapers in Canada and on magazines in Central Europe. She first discovered Friedl Dicker-Brandeis’ collages at a show of German and Austrian art of the 1930s at the Neue Gallery in New York and was in awe of Dicker-Brandeis’ use of composition and imagery and her bravery. A Beatlemaniac, Sedlarova lives in Burnaby, British Columbia with her husband and two rescue cats. Her work has appeared in galleries and online shows in Canada, the U.S. and Europe.
ABOUT KOLAJ INSTITUTE
The mission of Kolaj Institute is to support artists, curators, and writers who seek to study, document, & disseminate ideas that deepen our understanding of collage as a medium, a genre, a community, and a 21st century movement. We operate a number of initiatives meant to bring together community, investigate critical issues, and raise collage’s standing in the art world. WEBSITE
ABOUT KOLAJ MAGAZINE
Kolaj Magazine is a quarterly, printed, art magazine reviewing and surveying contemporary collage with an international perspective. We are interested in collage as a medium, a genre, a community, and a 21st century art movement. WEBSITE