Lantern slides that belonged to the University of Chicago Visual Resources Center were donated to Theaster Gates’ Dorchester Project, which was featured in a recent New York Times article.
Mr. Gates has combined a former candy store, a single-family house and a duplex across the street into a site of artistic and community change for a neighborhood that has suffered years of blight and cultural neglect. The installation is an entry in a growing art movement to create “hybridized” arts spaces that serve multiple functions, taking inspiration from installations in Houston and Los Angeles, as well as in Chicago’s Woodlawn neighborhood in a community center called the Experimental Station.
University of Chicago’s Theaster Gates currently has an installation in the Milwaukee Art Museum titled To Speculate Darkly: Theaster Gates and Dave the Potter. During Fall 2009, the Art History Department’s lantern slide collection was relocated to Gates’ Dorchester Project house for “reuse as performance material, research and speculation.” Part of that reuse includes the To Speculate Darkly installation, with the glass ceiling entrance as pictured above. For more information about the installation, see this article recently published by the Wisconsin Gazette.
Indiana University will host the 14th annual convention of the Magic Lantern Society of the USA and Canada on May 20-23, 2010. The Magic Lantern Society collects, preserves and shares information on the lantern devices that were invented during the 17th century and were used to entertain and educate audiences prior to the creation of film.
Members of the public are invited to attend the free or low-cost public sessions, which include an exhibit at the Lilly Library, two shows at the Fine Arts Auditorium, a silent film screening with live piano in Whittenberger Auditorium and a “Magic Lantern Spectacular” at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater. Terry Borton, a fourth-generation lanternist and the only professional lanternist in America, will take part in the performances.
For more information, please see Indiana University’s press release (quoted here) or the Magic Lantern Society’s complete conference schedule.