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Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College
87 North Main Street, Oberlin, OH 44074
440.775.8665

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The Allen's collection is particularly strong in 17th century Dutch and Flemish painting, Japanese prints, early modern art, African art, and more.

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Topographies of Representation

September 8, 2020 - January 24, 2021
In Education Hallway

Topographies of Representation

September 8, 2020 - January 24, 2021
In Education Hallway

Three events central to American democracy coalesce in 2020: a presidential election, the census, and the centenary of women’s suffrage. In this exhibition, works by four women artists—Nancy Burson, Agnes Denes, Joyce Kozloff, and Yōko Ono—provide ways of thinking about the imperfections of American representative democracy.

Moving beyond partisan debates on the news, social media, and around the dinner table, these works offer frameworks for thinking about how a citizen’s idealized participation in democracy might be impacted by structures of authority. The works draw our attention to the conflict between the subjective experience of an individual assigned to a gender, race, and class, versus the abstract quantification of political interests based on those identities. By considering these contradictions, we can imagine a new space for the self in the American political topography, making room for identities that do not fit within the tense boundaries of today’s American landscape.

Organized by

Hannah Wirta Kinney

Assistant Curator of Academic Programs

Emma Laube ’17

Curatorial Assistant

With assistance from

Lucy Haskell ’20

Jen Gallagher ’21

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