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Davis Museum opens major solo exhibition of multimedia works by Fatimah Tuggar
Fatimah Tuggar, Fai-Fain Gramophone, 2010. Record player, raffia disks with labels, music by Barmani Choge, entertainment center, 53 x 32 1/2 x 24 in. (134.6 x 82.5 x 70 cm). Artwork Credit: Courtesy of Fatimah Tuggar and BintaZarah Studios.

WELLESLEY, MASS.- The Davis Museum at Wellesley College presents Fatimah Tuggar: Home's Horizons, an exhibition of multimedia works across multiple platforms—including sculpture, photomontage, video, and augmented reality (AR). The works in the exhibition illuminate how humanity has employed technology to reshape its homes (including our shared planetary home) during the 20th and 21st centuries. Curated by Amanda Gilvin, the exhibition opened on Thursday, September 12, and runs through Sunday, December 15, 2019.

“Fatimah Tuggar is one of the most original, incisive conceptual artists of the digital age,” said Gilvin, Sonja Novak Koerner '51 Senior Curator of Collections and Assistant Director of Curatorial Affairs at Davis Museum. “She shows us how to view the things around us in new ways, and to recognize how each object—whether a hand-dyed textile or a mobile phone—connects us to other people, their work, and their stories.”

Home’s Horizons is organized in six sections: The Pleasures of Work; Domestic Dreams; At the Party; Fusion Cuisine, People Watching, and Deep Blue Wells. The exhibition includes 26 large-scale, immersive works of art produced over recent decades of rapid technological innovation. The artist uses her own still photography and video from Nigeria, along with found materials from commercials, magazines, and archival footage to create photo montages and a video collage. Her sculptures combine handmade, mechanical, and digital media.

The artist explores the meanings of technology in different places and times. It is a recurrent theme in the artist’s work that tools come to mean different things as new technological inventions are created. In Working Woman (1997), the computer, telephone, lamp, and power strip represent technology, but so does the handmade screen in the background. The designs of West African windscreens like this one employ fractal geometry for both aesthetic and functional purposes.

New Work Created for the Davis Museum
The Davis Museum has commissioned a new work of art by Tuggar for the exhibition called Deep Blue Wells, which incorporates the developing medium of AR. Walking into Deep Blue Wells, the visitor will first see ceramic sculptures on the floor, which emulate the earthen walls once constructed around the indigo dye wells in Kano, Nigeria, which have been in continuous use for over five hundred years. Textiles from Kano hang on the walls, and visitors will be able to use their mobile phones and tablets to access artwork in AR. Deep Blue Wells pushes at the limits of current digital technologies while honoring expert artisanal work. The installation has been developed in collaboration with the cutting-edge software development firm BrickSimple LLC.

Catalogue & Contributors
The exhibition is accompanied by the first monographic catalogue on Tuggar. Published and distributed by Hirmer Publishers and designed by the award-winning Stoltze Design in Boston, the volume includes a foreword by Ruth Gordon Shapiro ’37 Director Lisa Fischman, an introductory essay by exhibition curator Amanda Gilvin, an interview with the artist, and essays by Delinda Collier, Associate Professor of Art History, Theory, and Criticism at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Nicole Fleetwood, Associate Professor of American Studies and Art History at Rutgers University, and Jennifer Bajorek, Associate Professor of Comparative Literature, Hampshire College. The essays address Tuggar’s oeuvre within the confluence of the histories of conceptual, tech, feminist, and African art. The catalogue will include original content in AR.

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