Theaster Gates Amalgam | Wednesday, February 20


Event Details

    • 6:30 p.m.
    • Palais De Tokyo
    • 13 Avenue du Président Wilson, 75116 Paris, France


For his first solo museum exhibition in France, Theaster Gates has initiated an entirely new project that explores social histories of migration and interracial relations using a specific episode in American history as his point of departure to address larger questions of black subjugation and the imperial sexual domination and racial mixing that resulted from it. These historical themes and their material realities have given rise to new cinematographic, sculptural and musical perspectives in Gates’s oeuvre, while enabling Gates to examine the history of land ownership and race relations in the Northeastern United States.

The starting point of the exhibition, entitled “Amalgam,” is the story of Malaga Island in the state of Maine, USA: In 1912, the state governor expelled from Malaga the poorest population, an interracial, mixed community of about 45 people, considered “indolent” by many of the local white inhabitants. These unfortunate people were forced to relocate throughout the mainland; some were even involuntarily committed to psychiatric institutions.

The technical term “amalgam” has also been used in the past to denote racial, ethnic and religious mingling. For Theaster Gates, it has acquired an even more charged significance, impelling his practice towards new formal and conceptual explorations in film, sculpture, architecture, and music.

A conversation between Gates, School of the Art Institute of Chicago Professor Romi Crawford, and curator, publisher, and cultural historian Clémentine Deliss will take place, as well as a performance by Gates’s celebrated musical ensemble, The Black Monks of Mississippi.

For more information and tickets, please visit the Palais de Tokyo website.


Love Without Limits | Saturday, February 16


Event Details

    • 5:30-7:00 p.m.
    • Pugh Center
    • Cotter Union, Colby College


Alexis Atkinson ’15, Milton Guillén ’15, and Anne Vetter ’17, with Associate Professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Sonja Thomas. A conversation about representation in the arts sector, self expression in repressive cultures and institutions, the intersection of art and activism, and what it means to put your self into your work. Inspired by Colby Museum of Art’s newly opened exhibition Zanele Muholi: Somnyama Ngonyama, Hail the Dark Lioness. Presented in partnership with the Pugh Center and DavisConnects.


Theaster Gates on Land | Thursday, November 15


Courtesy of Theaster Gates Studio

Event Details

  • 5 p.m. reception on the Paul J. Schupf Sculpture Court, Colby Museum of Art
  • 6 p.m. lecture in Given Auditorium, Bixler Art and Music Center
  • This event is free and open to all, but seating for the lecture is limited, so please RSVP here.

The Lunder Institute for American Art is pleased to host an evening with inaugural distinguished artist Theaster Gates. Sharing his ongoing artistic endeavors on questions of land ownership, displacement, and miscegenation, Gates will reflect on how his practice has explored aspects of Maine’s history.

A conversation between Gates and Maine-based artists Daniel Minter and Myron Beasley will follow the talk, facilitated by Lee Glazer, director of the Lunder Institute.

Torkwase Dyson (AO) | Wednesday, November 7


Event Details

    • 1:30-5:30 p.m.
    • Guests welcome throughout the afternoon
    • Performances with guest collaborators start at 1:30 p.m.
    • Open conversation with the artist at 4 p.m.
    • William D. Adams Gallery
    • Colby College Museum of Art


The Lunder Institute for American Art is pleased to host (AO), a series of performances by visiting artist Torkwase Dyson and invited collaborators that explore the ways in which forms of visual art, literature, and science respond to distance and distortion.The afternoon will unfold through embodied experiences in and around Dyson’s exhibition Nautical Dusk, curated by Diana Tuite and inspired by archival materials related to Samuel Osborne (c. 1833–1904). Born into slavery on a Virginia plantation, Osborne migrated to Maine in 1865 and served as a Colby College janitor from 1867 to 1903. In the works she produced for Nautical Dusk, Dyson combines simple geometric forms infused with metaphorical associations found in obituaries of Osborne written by unnamed white authors.The afternoon culminates with a performance featuring collaborators including artist Zachary Fabri, visually scored by Andres L Hernandez; Dyson, Fabri, and Hernandez comprise the performance collective F/H/D.

Following the performance, Dyson will reflect on Nautical Dusk in an open conversation with the audience.Adaptive optics (AO) is a technology used to improve the performance of optical systems by reducing the effect of incoming wavefront distortions by deforming a mirror in order to compensate for the distortion.