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Art and Journalism in the Era of Post-Truth Politics

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deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum

51 Sandy Pond Road

Lincoln, MA 01773

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In conjunction with deCordova’s exhibition Truthiness and the News, this symposium brings together three leading figures in the fields of journalism, art history, and museums to reflect on the ethical implications of looking at images and reading the news critically in an era in which the concept of truth seems to hold ever less weight.

This program is FREE with admission or membership, and registration is requested. RSVP by October 23 to reserve a complimentary lunch catered by Sofra Bakery & Café (served at 1:00PM).

Stop by for a specific talk, or stay for the entire afternoon!

Full Schedule:

1:00-1:30PM - Buffet lunch and welcome
1:30-2:00PM - Makeda Best, Richard L. Menschel Curator of Photography, Harvard Art Museums
2:00-2:30PM - Carrie Lambert-Beatty, Professor of History of Art and Architecture and Visual Studies, Harvard University
2:30-3:15PM - Coffee break and exhibition walkthrough with Sam Adams, Koch Curatorial Fellow, deCordova
3:30-4:00PM - Gülsin Harman, Freelance reporter, The New York Times Istanbul Bureau, 2020 Robert L. Long Nieman Fellow, Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard
4:00-4:30PM - Concluding discussion

Speaker Bios:

Gülsin Harman is a freelance reporter at The New York Times Istanbul Bureau. She is currently the 2020 Robert L. Long Nieman Fellow at Harvard University. Harman’s research focuses on how new challenges to journalism impact democracy in a global condition of disinformation and distrust of the media.

Makeda Best is the Richard L. Menschel Curator of Photography at Harvard Art Museums. A specialist in war and documentary photography, Best co-edited Conflict, Identity, and Protest in American Art (2015). Best previously served as assistant curator at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and assistant professor of art history at the California College of the Arts and the University of Vermont.

Carrie Lambert-Beatty is a professor at Harvard University in the departments of history of art and architecture and visual and environmental studies. Lambert-Beatty’s scholarship focuses on art since the 1960s. In addition to her award-winning book, Being Watched: Yvonne Rainer and the 1960s (2008), Lambert-Beatty contributes regularly to Artforum, Art Journal, and October, of which she is an editor.

About the Exhibition:

Truthiness and the News explores the evidentiary role of photography, from the heyday of newsprint in the first half of the twentieth century to the current age of post-truth politics. Presaging the contemporary turn to “alternative facts” and “fake news,” photographs in print journalism have always offered a multiplicity of truths depending on when and how editors chose to print them. Featuring works from the 1940s to the present, this exhibition highlights photojournalists and socially engaged photographers, such as Charles “Teenie” Harris and Barbara Norfleet, alongside spreads from the newspapers and magazines that published their photographs, and contemporary works responding to the dissemination of the news today. Displaying lush photographs of current events as “art” next to the same images presented as “news” offers rich insights into the way photography informs our politics and beliefs.

Image: Charles “Teenie” Harris, Girl reading on stacks of Pittsburgh Courier newspapers, c. 1940, printed 2001, silver gelatin print, image 12 3/8 x 16 7/8 inches, Gift of Gus and Arlette Kayafas. Photograph by Clements Photography and Design, Boston.

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deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum

51 Sandy Pond Road

Lincoln, MA 01773

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