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Artist Talk: Maren Hassinger with Charlotte Ickes
On Wednesday, October 7, the National Portrait Gallery hosted a screening of New York-based artist Maren Hassinger’s short video “Birthright” (2005), followed by a discussion with the artist and Portrait Gallery Curator of Time-Based Media Art and Special Projects Charlotte Ickes. The video unfolds around a central encounter between the artist and her uncle, whom she meets for the first time, and documents Hassinger learning about her father’s family history--what the artist describes as a “history of a Black family in the aftermath of slavery.” During the discussion, Hassinger taught attendees how to twist newspaper, a meditative ritual she performs throughout the course of “Birthright.” This event anticipates Hassinger’s related performance next spring, commissioned by the Portrait Gallery as part of its IDENTIFY series dedicated to performance art and portraiture. On October 19, Hassinger’s Monument, an installation inspired by its location and woven with the help of volunteers, will go on view outdoors in Washington, D.C.’s historic Dupont Circle neighborhood through a partnership between Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative and the Golden Triangle Business Improvement District. IDENTIFY: Maren Hassinger with Charlotte Ickes was sponsored by the Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative.
Video Duration:
53 min 12 sec
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