The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts Partners with Institutions in Africa and the U.S. to Explore The Progress of Love
The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts announces its next exhibition, The Progress of Love, on view from November 16, 2012 through April 20, 2013. As part of an unprecedented transatlantic collaboration, The Progress of Love at the Pulitzer is one of three concurrent but unique exhibitions that together address the narrative arc of love. The Menil Collection in Houston, Texas; the Centre for Contemporary Art in Lagos, Nigeria; and The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts in St. Louis, Mo. will each explore an aspect of love: love as an ideal, love as a lived experience, and love as something lost. The Progress of Love at the Pulitzer will focus on the end of love and its aftermath.
The exhibition will feature works by the British-Nigerian artists Zina Saro-Wiwa and Yinka Shonibare, MBE, as well as the French artist Sophie Calle. “The Progress of Love is not a conventional contemporary African exhibition,” said Kristina Van Dyke, director of The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts. “The inclusion of both African and Western art will encourage and enable visitors to examine their own ideas about love and the effects of cultural constructs on how we process love and loss.”
The Progress of Love at The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts will present the work of Zina Saro-Wiwa, a British-Nigerian filmmaker, video artist, and director of the award-winning documentary This is my Africa. Her video installations, Mourning Class: Nollywood (2010) and Sarogua Mourning(2011), explore complex and often conflicting mourning rituals that mark the end of relationships, in this case loss brought about by death. The exhibition will also include Take Care of Yourself (2007) by Sophie Calle, a multimedia installation that features the insightful and humorous responses of 107 women — including a parrot and 2 puppets — to a break-up letter the artist had received via e-mail. The Pulitzer is the first institutional venue in the United States to present Take Care of Yourself. Finally, The Progress of Love will feature two works by Yinka Shonibare, MBE, includingAddio del Passato (2011). In these works, the artist re-stages the story of Britain's greatest naval hero, Lord Horatio Nelson, and his estranged wife Frances, as a foil to shed light on the layered historical conventions that we absorb and rely on to process the loss of love.
In keeping with its mission to incorporate all forms of art to facilitate different experiences of the exhibition, the Pulitzer will host a series of events and programs related to the exhibition, including films, poetry readings, lectures, panel discussions, and gallery talks with curators and artists. The exhibition will open with a reception November 16 and a talk by Calle November 17. In January 2013, Saro-Wiwa will visit St. Louis to discuss her works in the galleries and to participate in related programming. The Pulitzer’s signature music programs, Sound Waves and the St. Louis Symphony Concert Series, will also be held. In addition, the Pulitzer will host a curatorial tour of the exhibition each month, as well as a number of informational programs throughout the exhibition's five-month run.
The Progress of Love in all three institutions will be tied together by a joint website and documented by a fully illustrated print catalogue, which includes essays by Van Dyke; Bisi Silva, director of the Centre for Contemporary Art in Lagos; and Francesca Herndon-Consagra, former curator for The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts. Other contributors include Elias Bongmba, professor of Religious Studies at Rice University; and Banning Eyre, senior editor at Afropop.org.
The Progress of Love is being underwritten at CCA, Lagos by The Menil Collection and The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts.
About The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts
Through art exhibitions, programs, and collaborations with other institutions, the Pulitzer aims to foster a deeper understanding and appreciation of art and architecture and is a resource for artists, architects, scholars, students, and the general public. The current exhibition, In the Still Epiphany, curated by artist Gedi Sibony, is on view through October 27. The Pulitzer is free and open to the public Wednesdays from noon to 5 pm and Saturdays from 10 am to 5 pm. It is located in Grand Center at 3716 Washington Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63108. Visit www.pulitzerarts.org.