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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Grad students curate ‘Exile on Main Street’

    Cori DiSimone and Veronica Duarte hope they’ve provoked people.

    This is the second year that the art history graduate students have curated “”Exile on Main Street: Construction of the Other in National Identity,”” an exhibition reflecting personal issues of culture and relationships between cultures.

    “”All the work is based on people’s personal experiences with identity, but they’re sharing it and we’re putting it in the public to be talked about,”” said Duarte.

    This is the 17th annual exhibition sponsored by the Art History Graduate Student Association, which puts on a symposium in conjunction with every year’s show. The show opened at the Lionel Rombach Gallery Jan. 30.

    AHGSA, a small chapter of graduate students, selects a theme as a group, and since DiSimone and Duarte are both second-year students, they volunteered to curate the show. Both study an emphasis on Mexican art.

    “”Exile on Main Street”” features work from three UA fine arts graduate students, photographer Tomiko Jones, installation artist Katarzyna Cepek and multimedia artist David Babcock.

    Also featured are two performance artists, Matt Jenkins from Colorado and Min Kim Park from Alabama.

    Both out-of-towners came to Tucson to perform the day of the show, Park in the gallery with “”Kut 4,”” a piece about her brother’s exorcism, and Jenkins in South Tucson with “”Corporate Calavera,”” a street-art project about women’s disappearances and eventual murders in Mexico.

    DiSimone and Duarte sent out applications to universities across the country and in Canada and received about 20 responses to sift through.

    It was the first time curating at a gallery for the two, who said their only difficulty was editing Jones’ photo series due to space constraints in the 15- by 30-foot gallery.

    However, Duarte says she values the exposure and experience the space provides students, and despite the close quarters, the opening reception on Feb. 2 drew a huge crowd, Duarte said, as did the symposium the following day. The AHGSA flew speakers in from across the country to present their papers.

    “”The room was jam-packed,”” Duarte said.

    DiSimone said she thinks the theme hits home for everyone.

    “”Its not a common theme,”” said DiSimone. “”It was overdone, but scholars put it on the backburner for a while, and now its prevalent again. We all came from a different country somewhere down the line,”” she said. “”At some point most of us have been associated with the other and have been on the margins of society trying to figure where our place is and work our way back into the mainstream.””

    Duarte and DiSimone both say they feel Tucson is a perfect venue for the exhibition.

    “”It’s important to see this here because Tucson’s a border town,”” Duarte said.

    Exile on Main Street will be on display until Feb. 24 in the Lionel Rombach Gallery, located next to the School of Art building, between the Center for Creative Photography and the UA Museum of Art.

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