Unique interdisciplinary art exhibit to visit Texas A&M campus
Distinguished philosopher Jorge J. E. Gracia will visit Texas A&M in September to present his art exhibit “Painting Borges: A Pictorial Interpretation of His Fictions.” The exhibit is based on Gracia’s book, Painting Borges, and explores the pictorial interpretation of literature through a philosophical lens.
Philosophy professor Gregory Pappas invited Gracia using funds made available by the Vice President for Research and a grant from the Glasscock Center for Humanities Research to secure the exhibit, which will be showcased at The Stark Galleries from Aug. 30 to Oct. 12.
“A particularly notable feature of the exhibition is its interdisciplinary character,” Pappas said. “This unique exhibition effectively and creatively combines visual arts, literature, and philosophy as they interact in interesting and seminal ways.”
For his book and the related exhibit, Gracia selected artistic depictions of twelve stories by Jorge Luis Borges, a prominent Argentinian literary figure. The stories are organized into three categories: identity and memory, freedom and destiny, and faith and divinity. Each story is then interpreted visually by two different artists, altogether amounting to 24 works of art by 16 artists.
“Because interpretation is a matter of perspective, it was also necessary to use artists whose work manifests different points of view,” Gracia said of his artist selections. “I searched for artists at different career stages, young and old, women and men, belonging to different social classes, with different ideologies and interests, and even having different ethnic origins.”
From the mythological roots of Greek and Roman art, Michelangelo’s rendition of the Genesis narrative from the Bible, and other preceding works of art, the derivation of artwork from literature is a frequent occurrence, according to Gracia.
“A great part of the history of western art has been concerned with rendering stories, myths, and adventures first recorded in literary genres into visual media,” he said.
However, Gracia said that most critics tend to “restrict themselves to particular interpretations of literary works.” They overlook broader concepts such as the comparison of artistic interpretation versus other methods of deciphering and rendering literature. According to Pappas, a similar event was a success when it debuted in Buenos Aires, and Texas A&M University will be one of just a few universities nationwide to host the event with Gracia as a speaker.
“This will be a unique opportunity to experience the enriching and organic connection between philosophy, literature, art, and music that has always existed in Latin American cultures,” Pappas said.
Opening day for the exhibit will take place on Aug. 30. Gracia will give a lecture at the gallery on Sept. 18, after which a live performance by a Latin American music trio and a reception will conclude the night’s events.
For more information, visit the University Art Galleries website at http://uart.tamu.edu/painting-borges.
Rotator image: Laura Delgado, Funes, vaciadero de basura II (Funes, The Garbage Heap II). Pictured above: Ricardo Celma, El evangelio según Borges (The Gospel According to Borges).