In a 1995 essay, art historian Jennifer A. González coined the term “autotopography” to articulate the ways in which aspects of biography can be revealed in the creation of one’s environment. The personal objects comprising an autotopography are extensions of the maker’s self, of life events and cultural identity. González writes “...just as a written autobiography is a series of narrated events, fantasies and identification, so too an autotopography forms a spatial representation of important relations and past events.” For González, an autotopography can exist in many forms, as “a careful, visual arrangement of mementos and heirlooms, on the one hand, and a jumbled, hidden assembly of dusty and unkempt objects, on the other, but both can constitute a material memory landscape.”
Selected for their compelling ability to blend autobiography, history, and contemporary art practices, the artists participating in the exhibition will use a variety of methodologies and materials to explore aspects of the self. Included will be 2-D and 3-D works by Joianne Bittle, Sarah Braman, Andy Coolquitt, Beatriz Cortez, iris yirei hu, Benjamin Larose, Azikiwe Mohammed, Yoshie Sakai, Becky Suss, and Ray Yoshida.
The Autotopographers will include contemplations of memory, history, and the myriad of ways we construct a “self.”
This exhibition is supported in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts. Funding was also provided by the Kohler Trust for the Arts and Education, Kohler Foundation, Inc., and the Frederic Cornell Kohler Charitable Trust. The Arts Center thanks its many members for their support of exhibitions and programs through the year.