SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY (February 15, 2017) — The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College announces the opening of the exhibition Inhabited Landscapes: Bougault’s Algeria on Saturday, February 18.
Inhabited Landscapes, which will be on view through April 23, features a series of large, panoramic landscapes of Algeria, created during the late-19th and early-20th centuries by the French photographer Alexandre Bougault. The photographs circulated among European and North American audiences through the tourist industry. The images feature a variety of scenes that at first glance recall the French Romantic Orientalist vision: stoic Arabian Camels amid an endless Saharan expanse, large groups of cloaked figures kneeling in prayer, a sea of low slung clay buildings, and women gathering water in a palm-filled oasis.
This project invites a new reading of the photographs as spaces where the notions of identity, loss, presence, and power shape the complex relations between the Algerian terrain and its inhabitants. The landscapes can be seen to reveal a series of paradoxes, making visible the conundrum of European Imperialism — the desire to modernize a “primitive” land, while at the same time longing to experience and represent it as untouched by Western modernization.
Inhabited Landscapes: Bougault’s Algeria is curated by Ana-Joel Falcón-Wiebe, Lecturer in Art History, and is supported by Accelerate: Access and Inclusion at the Tang Teaching Museum, a project of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the Friends of the Tang.
Exhibition curator Ana-Joel Falcón-Wiebe will speak about her research at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, February 21, in the Somers Room of the Tang Teaching Museum. The event is organized by the Skidmore College Art History Department is free and open to the public.
Exhibition curator Ana-Joel Falcón-Wiebe will give a curator’s tour of her exhibition at noon Wednesday, April 1. The tour is free and open to the public.
The Tang Teaching Museum at Skidmore College is a pioneer of interdisciplinary exploration and learning. A cultural anchor of New York’s Capital Region, the institution’s approach has become a model for university art museums across the country—with exhibition programs and series that bring together the visual and performing arts with fields of study as disparate as history, astronomy, and physics. The Tang has one of the most rigorous faculty-engagement initiatives in the nation, the Mellon Seminar, and robust publication and touring exhibition initiatives that extend the institution’s reach far beyond its walls. The Tang Teaching Museum’s building, designed by architect Antoine Predock, serves as a visual metaphor for the convergence of ideas and exchange the institution catalyzes. More information at http://tang.skidmore.edu.