Weatherspoon Art Museum Press Release, 2010
Michael Ashkin: Falk Visiting Artist
The Weatherspoon presents the U.S. premiere of Michael Ashkin's film, "Here" (2009), a psychologically intense rumination on the mental space wrought by life in the desert and the broader concepts of space and time conveyed by the word "here." Ashkin became well known in the 1990s for his miniature scale models that depict marginalized landscapes, such as mines, oil fields, and industrial wastelands. His works circulate around ideas of social, economic and political exclusion and abandonment, presenting us with desolate, yet clearly utilitarian, architectures and landscapes of unspecified location. "Here" consists of film footage of a single darkened room accompanied by an affecting voice-over that alludes to the ongoing conflicts in the Middle East.
Michael Ashkin (b. 1955, Morristown, NJ) received an M.A. in Middle East Languages and Cultures from Columbia University and an M.F.A. from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. His work has been shown in exhibitions around the globe, including Documenta 11 and the "1997 Whitney Biennial". His work is the subject of recent exhibitions at Secession, Vienna and the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University. Ashkin is the Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Art at Cornell University, College of Architecture, Art, and Planning.
As the Spring 2010 Falk Visiting Artist at the Weatherspoon and the Art Department at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Ashkin will participate in MFA graduate student critiques and present a gallery talk and public lecture.