Visit The Vesper Project
Friedman Benda is pleased to announce Titus Kaphar’s 'The Vesper Project'. The exhibition is a massive sculptural statement—an encompassing installation, in which Kaphar’s own work is seamlessly woven into the walls of a 19th-century American house.
The culmination of an intense five-year engagement with the lost storylines of the Vesper family, the project was “birthed in a state of extended disbelief,” according to Kaphar. As the artist’s muses, the members of the Vesper family and their histories are intertwined with Kaphar’s autobiographical details, and layered with wide-based cultural triggers of identity and truth in the context of historical accounting.
In 'The Vesper Project', period architecture, gilt frames, a vintage typewriter, a neglected wardrobe, and old photographs act as seemingly recognizable elements, but by employing every tool of his trade, Kaphar insinuates doubt and transports the viewer into a disrupted mental state. As the house fractures, so does the viewer’s experience. In so doing, Kaphar compresses times, conflates the continuum of history and postulates new powerful realities.
With many of Kaphar's interventions present in the installation including slashing, silhouetting, and whitewashing, this singular work is a complex map of overlapping timetables and collective genealogies. By obliterating the distance between the viewer and the work, 'The Vesper Project' is comprehensive, experiential, and it is the artist’s most ambitious expression to date.
Panel Discussion: Saturday, March 9, 4:00 PM
"The Creative Implications of Mental Disruption"
Bridget R. Cooks and Arlene Keizer, both University of California, Irvine
James Berger, Yale University
Scott Barry Kaufman, New York University (requested)
Kwamena Blankson, Harvard-trained psychologist
Titus Kaphar, Artist
James Berger is professor of English and American Studies in the Literature department at Yale University. His current research is on the representation of cognitive and linguistic impairment in modern fiction.
Kwamena Blankson holds a BS in Psychology from Harvard, and a JD in Public Interest Law at the University of Alabama. He currently works for the Connecticut Legal Rights Project, providing free legal services to low income adults with psychiatric disabilities.
Bridget R. Cooks is professor of Art History and African American history and at the University of California - Irvine. Cooks' research focuses on African American art and culture, Black visual culture, museum criticism, film, feminist theory and post-colonial theory.
Scott Barry Kaufman is Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychology at New York University and Co-Founder of the “The Creativity Post”. He is a cognitive psychologist interested in the development of intelligence, creativity, and personality.
Arlene Keizer is Associate Professor of English and African American Studies at the School of Humanities at University of California at Irvine. She is author of "Black Feminist Criticism,” and "Black Subjects: Identity Formation in the Contemporary Narrative of Slavery."
Titus Kaphar - Artist
February 28 - April 6, 2013
Friedman Benda, New York, NY