The word "symposium" can conjure up the image of some uptight, academic scenario, but that's exactly the opposite of what this weekend's Postscript Symposium at MCA Denver has been designed. Created as a companion event to the museum's current Postscript: Writing After Conceptual Art exhibition, the Friday and Sunday shows will hardly be stuffy.
"We've called the event a symposium because we're bringing together so many people -- five artists (utilizing several mediums). It will be a creative, playful and exciting series of performances," says Associate Curator Nora Burnett Adams. With Postscript running through February 3, this weekend's additional performance element is a chance for new visitors to experience the exhibition, as well as an invitation for previous guests to get reacquainted with the multi-medium show.
The Postscript exhibition centers on the work of fifty artists and writers, all of whom have manipulated found text in some way. "They kind of steal (text) and do something completely different with it," explains Burnett Abrams.
Combining video, film, sculpture, painting and wall drawings, the exhibit shows written text transformed; context is re-imagined as sentences are physically folded, words manipulated, and sound and imagery is applied. The foundation for the Postscript exhibition came about as a further exploration of Co-Curator Andrea Andersson's graduate work with found text, leading to her Ph.D. in comparative literature.
"We focused on a group (of artists and writers) that aren't typically shown together," says Burnett Abrams. "There is usually a focus exclusively on artists; the breakthrough aspect of this exhibition is that we've identified artists and writers making similar work using similar strategies."
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The Postscript Symposium is an extension of that strategy, with live performances and conversation with various artists. The weekend's events will feature work and presentations from Craig Dworkin, Michelle Ellsworth, James Hoff, Seth Kim-Cohen, Jeanne Liotta, Christine Wertheim, Nick Thurston and special guest Will Holder.
The first session of lectures and performances in the Postscript Symposium will be at 7 p.m. Friday, January 25, at Counterpath, 613 22nd Street; it is free and open to the public. The second session begins at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, January 27, at the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, 1485 Delgany Street. That event is $5 for museum members, $10 for non-members; lunch will be served for an additional $10. For more information on the exhibit and symposium, visit the MCA Denver's website.