12.12.2005

ZERO CULTURE

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Date/Time: 12/12/2005 12:00 am


ZERO CULTURE
Monday, Dec. 12, 2005; 7:30pm
The Theresa Lang Community and Student Center, The New School
55 West 13th Street, 2nd floor
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Panel Discussion
Moderator: Paul Goldberger
Panelists: Tom Bernstein, Thelma Golden, Hans Haacke, Mike Wallace, and Robert Yaro
The acceptance of a master plan for the World Trade Center site in 2003 has not made it immune to intervention, discussion and debate.
The ongoing wrangles, which have variously devolved around issues of design and security, have most recently polarized around an opposition between culture and memorialization. Culture, ordinarily the bedrock of any act of remembrance, is estranged, even desecrates ground described as hallowed and sacred.
The recent expulsions and withdrawals of cultural institutions slated to occupy the site urgently foregrounds the questions that engage this panel: What is at stake in this latest edition of the “culture wars”? What are the implications for daily life, livelihoods and the liveliness of New York City? Is “culture” integral or an appendage to the revitalization and redevelopment of Downtown Manhattan?
Tickets: Tickets can be purchased by phone with a credit card 212.229.5488 or in person at The New School Box Office, 66 West 12th St, main floor, Mon.-Thurs., 1:00-8:00 p.m., and Fri. 1:00-7:00 p.m. Inquiries can be sent to boxoffice@newschool.edu. Most events are free to all students and New School alumni with ID.
Press Release
ARTnews Article
Biographies
Paul Goldberger:
Paul Goldberger, one of the nation’s most eminent writers in the field of architecture, design and urbanism, has been the architecture critic at The New Yorker magazine since July 1997. As The New Yorker’s architecture critic, he continues the magazine’s celebrated “Sky Line” column, a position once held by Lewis Mumford and more recently by Brendan Gill. He is the author of several books, including the text for The World Trade Center Remembered, which was recently published by Abbeville Press, and Manhattan Unfurled, published by Random House. He is now at work on a book that will tell the story of the redevelopment of the site of the World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan, to be published by Random House in 2004, and he is also writing a book on the experience of looking at architecture.
He joined The New Yorker in July of 1997, following a 25-year career at The New York Times, where he won a Pulitzer Prize in 1984 for his architecture criticism, the highest award in journalism. He joined the staff of The Times in 1972, the year of his graduation from Yale, and he was named the paper’s daily architecture critic in 1973. In 1990 he was named cultural news editor, and in 1994 he became the newspaper’s chief cultural correspondent.
He lectures widely around the country on the subject of architecture, design, historic preservation and cities, and for several years taught architecture criticism at the Yale School of Architecture. In the spring of 2004 he will be teaching a course on covering Ground Zero and large-scale urban reconstructions at the School of Journalism at the University of California at Berkeley. He has also served as a special consultant to several major cultural and educational institutions, including the Morgan Library in New York, the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh and the Ross Institute in East Hampton, New York, where he has organized and directed the process of selecting an architect. He also serves as an advisor to Cornell University on campus architecture and planning matters.
In addition to the Pulitzer Prize, his writing has received numerous awards including the President’s Medal of the Municipal Art Society of New York, the medal of the American Institute of Architects, and the Medal of Honor of the New York Landmarks Preservation Foundation, awarded in recognition of what the Foundation called “the nation’s most balanced, penetrating and poetic analyses of architecture and design.” He has also received the Roger Starr Journalism Award from the Citizens Housing and Planning Council; the Award of Merit of the Lotos Club, presented to writers of distinction; and in 1993 was named a Literary Lion, the New York Public Library’s tribute to distinguished writers. In May, 1996, New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani presented him with the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission’s Preservation Achievement Award in recognition of the impact of his writing on historic preservation in New York.
Paul Goldberger was a student of the eminent architectural historian Vincent Scully at Yale University. He has been awarded honorary doctoral degrees by Pratt Institute in New York, the Center for Creative Studies in Detroit, and the New York School of Interior Design for his work as a critic and cultural commentator on architecture and urban design. He appears frequently on film and television to discuss art, architecture, and cities, most recently in Ric Burns’s film on the World Trade Center for public television, shown in September, 2003; Ken Burns’s film on Frank Lloyd Wright; the PBS series “Building Big,” and a program broadcast in the spring of 2002 on The Learning Channel entitled “Super Structures,” for which he acted as on-camera host. He has also been a frequent guest on CNN and other national media to discuss the impact of the September 11th tragedy on architecture, and the process of re-planning Ground Zero. Among his earlier books are the classic “The City Observed: New York: An Architectural Guide to Manhattan,” “The Skyscraper,” “On the Rise: Architecture and Design in a Post-Modern Age,” and “Above New York.”
He is a member of the Board of Governors of Parsons School of Design in New York City, the Board of Trustees of Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, and the Board of Trustees of the Ethical Culture Fieldston School in New York City. He is also President of the Board of Directors of the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous, an organization which supports more than 1,700 aged and needy Christians around the world who rescued Jews during the Holocaust. He and his wife, Susan Solomon, are the parents of three sons, Adam, Ben and Alex. They live on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.
Tom Bernstein:
Tom A. Bernstein, 52, is President and Co-Founder of Chelsea Piers, L.P., formed in 1992, to develop and operate the Chelsea Piers Sports and Entertainment Complex. He was Co-Founder and Chairman of the International Freedom Center, a cultural institution developed for the World Trade Center Site as an educational complement to the World Trade Center Memorial.
From 1983 to 1998, Mr. Bernstein was one of the two principals of Silver Screen Management, Inc., and the affiliated Silver Screen companies, which served as the managing general partners of the Silver Screen partnerships. These partnerships raised approximately $1 billion from 140,000 investors to finance films produced by The Walt Disney Company and Home Box Office, Inc. From 1989 to 1998, Mr. Bernstein was one of the principal owners of the Texas Rangers Baseball Club with the ownership group led by George W. Bush, now the President of the United States. From 1978 to 1983, Mr. Bernstein was an attorney with the Entertainment Department of the law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison in New York. In 1977-78, he served as a law clerk for the Honorable Jack B. Weinstein in Federal District Court in New York. Mr. Bernstein is a graduate of Yale College (’74 summa cum laude) and Yale Law School (’77), where he was an editor of the Yale Law Journal.
Mr. Bernstein has been actively involved in a number of pro bono activities. He is a member of the Board of Directors and Executive Committees of several non-profit organizations, including Human Rights First (formerly the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights), WNYC Radio (New York’s public radio stations), The Fresh Air Fund, The Partnership for Public Service, City Year New York and NYC & Company. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Mr. Bernstein also served as a member of the Transition Team of Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
In 2002, Mr. Bernstein was appointed by President Bush to serve as a Council Member of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., where he now serves as a member of the Executive Committee and as Chair of the Committee on Conscience.
Thelma Golden :
Thelma Golden is the Director and Chief Curator at The Studio Museum in Harlem. Since her start at the museum in January 2000 as Deputy Director and Chief Curator, she has organized a number of exhibitions, including Chris Ofii: Afro Muses 1995-2005, harlemworld: Metropolis as Metaphor, Black Romantic, Yinka Shonibare: Red, Black, and Green, Freestyle, Material and Matter, Glenn Ligon: Stranger, Martin Puryear: The Cane Project, and Isaac Julien: Vagabondia.
Before her appointment, she was the Special Projects Curator for Peter and Eileen Norton, contemporary art collectors and philanthropists based in Los Angeles, California. Prior to working with the Nortons, Golden was a curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City. At the Whitney, she was Curator from 1996 — 1998, Associate Curator and Director of Branch Museums from 1993 — 1996, and from 1991— 1993 she was Director and Exhibition Coordinator at the Whitney Museum at Phillip Morris. She began her career at the Whitney in 1988 as a Curatorial Assistant. Thelma Golden received a B.A. in art history and African American Studies from Smith College, Northampton, MA.
At the Whitney Museum, Ms. Golden organized many exhibitions including the 1993 Biennial Exhibition (directed by Elisabeth Sussman); Black Male: Representations of Masculinity in Contemporary Art (1994-1995); Bob Thompson: A Retrospective (1998); Heart, Mind, Body, Soul: New Work from the Collection (1998); and Hindsight: Recent Work from the Permanent Collection (1999).
At the Whitney @ Philip Morris, she conceived and organized a site-specific commissioning program and organized 18 projects with artists, including Alison Saar, Glenn Ligon, Gary Simmons, Romare Bearden, Matthew McCaslin, Suzanne McClelland, Y. David Chung, Lorna Simpson, Jacob Lawrence and Leone & MacDonald.
In addition to her curatorial work, Thelma Golden teaches, lectures, and writes about contemporary art, cultural issues, and the curatorial practice nationally and internationally. She has been a visiting professor at the School of the Arts at Columbia University, and a visiting lecturer at Yale University and Cornell University. She is a member of the Graduate Committee of the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College.
Ms. Golden has been a guest lecturer, curator and essayist for projects at numerous institutions including the Guggenheim Museum, The Museum of Modern Art, The ICA / Philadelphia, Harvard University, The ICA / London, The Power Plant, Toronto, the Addison Gallery of American Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, The Royal College of Art, London and the Miami Art Museum. She has also served on funding and selection panels for the Pew Charitable trust, The Rockefeller Foundation, The Federal Advisory Committee on International Exhibitions, The Alpert Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts among others.
Ms. Golden has contributed essays to publications about Lorna Simpson, Carrie Mae Weems, Bill T. Jones, Kara Walker, and Glenn Ligon. She has been a story consultant for Egg: The Arts Show, a production of WNET/Channel 13. Thelma Golden is a member of the Institute for the Humanities (New York University), and she serves on the boards of Creative Time, Inc., the Visiting Committee of the Smith College Museum of Art in Northampton, MA and the Brooklyn Academy of Music Local Development Corporation.
Hans Haacke :
For more than thirty-five years, Haacke has been looking at the relationship between art, power and money, and has addressed issues of free expression and civic responsibilities in a democratic society. His early work dealt with physical and organic processes, such as condensation. In 1969, he conducted his first gallery visitors’ poll. Increasingly he focused on the socio-political context in which art is exhibited and traded. A one-person exhibition, scheduled at the Guggenheim Museum in 1971, was cancelled by the museum because of a visitors’ poll and two works analyzing New York real estate empires. Haacke’s projects have resulted in debates and are considered part of his artistic work. Haacke’s current exhibition at the Paula Cooper Gallery, “State of the Union,” reflecting on the aftermath of September 11.
Mike Wallace:
Mike Wallace is the Director of the Gotham Center for New York City History. He is now working on the second volume of Gotham: A History of New York City – the first volume of which, co-authored with Edwin Burrows, won the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for History. Gotham II, which he is writing on his own, will carry the story down through the 20th Century.
Wallace was born and raised in New York City and its environs. He got his undergraduate and graduate degrees at Columbia University, studying with Richard Hofstadter, with whom he has collaborated on a history of American Violence published by Knopf in 1970. He has taught history to police officers and others at John Jay College of Criminal Justice (City University of New York) since 1971. He helped found and for 25 years has helped publish and edit the Radical History Review. He has published a series of essays that explore the ways history is used and abused in American popular culture, including pieces on Disney World, Colonial Williamsburg, the Enola Gay controversy at the Smithsonian, and historic preservation. These have been collected in Mickey Mouse History and Other Essays on American Memory (1997).
Wallace has served as a senior historical consultant and talking head for Ric Burns’ PBS Special, New York: A Documentary Film; has advised many local museums, notably the New-York Historical Society and the Museum of the City of New York; and has lectured on historical issues in many parts of the country and around the world.
Robert Yaro:
Robert D. Yaro is the President of Regional Plan Association, where he has been on the staff since 1990. Headquartered in Manhattan and founded in 1922, RPA is America’s oldest and most respected independent metropolitan research and advocacy group.
Mr. Yaro is also Practice Professor in City and Regional Planning at the University of Pennsylvania. Formerly he served on the faculties of Harvard University and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
He chairs The Civic Alliance to Rebuild Downtown New York, a broad-based coalition of civic groups formed to guide redevelopment in Lower Manhattan in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center. He is also a director of Alliance for Regional Stewardship.
Mr. Yaro is an honorary member of the Royal Town Planning Institute. Mr. Yaro holds a Masters Degree in City and Regional Planning from Harvard University and a BA in Urban Studies from Wesleyan University.
Co-presented with the Vera List Center for Art and Politics
Photograph of Thelma Golden by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders

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