Rashaad Newsome, the spring 2019 University of Wisconsin–Madison Division of the Arts‘ Interdisciplinary Artist in Residence, and students will present “The Gesture of Collage as Practice” at the Chazen Museum of Art in the Paige Court in the Conrad A. Elvehjem Building (800 University Ave.) on Thursday, April 18 at 6 p.m. Rashaad Newsome is a multidisciplinary artist whose work blends several practices together including collage, sculpture, film, music, computer programming and performance.
The event will feature a collaborative group performance along with a visual art exhibition of collage works in a variety of mediums from students in Newsome’s interdisciplinary arts course. The performance is free and open to the public.
Students who will be part of this event are Elizabeth Braun, Joicelyn Brenson, Zawadi Carroll, Obasi Davis, Ricardo Cortez de la Cruz, Elisa Hildner, Shuang Hu, Quanda Johnson, Jasmine Kiah, Synovia Knox, Luke Leavitt, Emily Lesch, Aliya Mayers, Solomon Roller, Nia Scott and Dequadray White. The students represent a wide range of majors including art, dance, theatre and drama, textiles and fashion design, geography and industrial engineering.
During the semester, Newsome used his interdisciplinary practice as a framework to engage students in a wide range of collaging strategies including paper collage, video collage, sound mixing, creative coding and performance, while exploring current discourses on race, sexuality, gender, performance and art history. Conversations in the course emphasized the importance of critical thinking, utilizing doctor bell hooks’ theories on the culture of domination, specifically the imperialist, white supremacist, capitalist patriarchy. Students explored the intersections of these structures as they moved from paper collage through sound and video collaging strategies. Residency guest artists included Frances Wang, a creative technologist and full-stack developer, and Hitmakerchinx, a dancer, DJ and record producer for Flex Dance Music – both led workshops as part of the course, along with additional Flex Dancers who led a dance workshop in a local school and at a public event.
Name: The Gesture of Collage as Practice
When: Thursday, April 18 | 6 p.m.
Where: Chazen Museum of Art – Paige Court, Elvehjem Building | 800 University Ave., Madison
Cost: Free and open to the public
Rashaad Newsome’s residency is presented by the UW–Madison Division of the Arts and hosted by the Art Department with Professor Stephen Hilyard as lead faculty. Co-sponsors include the Dance Department, First Wave Learning Community, the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing and the Chazen Museum of Art.
Rashaad Newsome utilizes collage, sculpture, film, music, computer programming and performance, to form an altogether new field. Newsome’s work is deeply invested in how images used in media and popular culture communicate distorted notions of power. He draws attention to the contributions that marginalized communities, whose culture is often absorbed and co-opted by mainstream advertising platforms, have made to pop culture and society in general. Through his visually engaging interdisciplinary work, Newsome explores the complexities of social power structures and questions of agency. Using the diasporic tradition of improvisation, he crafts compositions that surprise in their associative potential and walk the tightrope between intersectionality, social practice and abstraction.
Longer biography available on his personal website: rashaadnewsome.com