The spring 2016 iteration of “Without Limits,” an ongoing series of interdisciplinary events created by the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, will bring two internationally-known figures to the SUNY New Paltz campus for events occurring from April 25 – 28: the Chilean street artist Pau Quintanajornet (aka PAU), and Brittany Cooper, a leading voice on feminism and African-American culture.
The spring programming is a continuation the inaugural year of “Without Limits” programming, organized around a theme of “Screens and Scenes.” The series began last fall with a lively panel discussion examining the liberal arts and the digital world.
The most visible of this semester’s offerings will be a live mural painting by PAU, which will take place over two days on April 25 and 26. The project is titled “KRA” (meaning “moon” in the indigenous Latin American language Selk’nam), and will be created on a wooden canvas on the wall that stands between the Sojourner Truth Library and the Fine Arts Building.
PAU has described this project as an opportunity to “bring something of the southern hemisphere up to the northern to establish an exchange, a dialogue between the Americas, connecting people through unifying visual imagery,” as she has done with similar murals in cities including Berlin, Amsterdam and Asbury Park, N.J. Her goal “is to create something universal, something that makes you feel a connection to something larger, to rethink your perspectives and help create a consciousness about your own being.”
PAU’s visit will be punctuated with an April 27 panel discussion, beginning at 4:00 p.m. in the Coykendall Science Building (CSB) Auditorium, on “Street Art and the Digital World,” featuring the artist alongside Jessica Pabón, assistant professor of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies, and César Barros, assistant professor of Languages, Literatures and Cultures.
On April 28, Cooper, who is assistant professor of Women’s and Gender Studies and Africana Studies at Rutgers University, will deliver a lecture titled “Dis-Respectability: Towards A Ratchet Black Feminism,” also at 4:00 p.m. in the CSB Auditorium.
Cooper’s presentation draws from Hip-Hop, television and film to consider the limitations of respectability politics as a productive framework for thinking about representations of race, gender and sexuality in popular culture, and ultimately argues for a turn away from the politics of respectability, toward an intentional embrace of “ratchet-ness,” as a form of feminist celebration and resistance.
“What unites these presenters is their understanding of how culture, art and politics are now experienced in and through digital media,” said Cyrus Mulready, associate professor of English and co-organizer of the “Without Limits” series. “Their work represents how transformative ‘Screens and Scenes’ have been to many dimensions of the 21st century world, where we can view paintings from the streets of Chile and communicate in new ways about constructions of race and gender in American society.”
“Without Limits” spring programming is sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; the Office of Academic Affairs; the School of Fine and Performing Arts; Campus Auxiliary Services; the James H. Ottaway Sr. Visiting Professorship; the Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program; the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures; and the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Program.
For more information, please visit the “Without Limits” website.