© Brittany Nelson
Brittany Nelson (American, born 1984), Opportunity (3,969 Sols After Expected Lifespan), 2018, gelatin silver print on paper, 27 x 45 inches, Lent courtesy of the artist.
Oct 05, 2018
throughDec 07, 2018

Warm Worlds and Otherwise: Brittany Nelson and Danishta Rivero

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Warm Worlds and Otherwise: Brittany Nelson & Danishta Rivero is on view in the Harnett Museum of Art from October 5 through December 7, 2018. Brittany Nelson’s work appropriates and distorts processes from nineteenth-century photography to question representation as photographic ideal. In chemically manipulating traditional mordançage and tintype techniques, she causes unprecedented reactions in the materials which result in abstract imagery. In her most recent practice, Nelson (American, born 1984) borrows from found material such as NASA photographs of the surface of Mars. The pictures were taken by the Opportunity rover as it looks back at its own tracks while it is still roaming the planet more than fourteen years after its mission was supposed to be completed. By applying techniques such as the pictorial bromoil method to these images, she translates between analog and digital media, resulting in prints that warp not only the surface and constitutive photographic features but also question the content on view. Nelson is Assistant Professor of Photography, Department of Art and Art History, University of Richmond.

The artist draws on science fiction, technological utopias, spaceflight, and time travel, moving away from the nostalgia often accompanying the resuscitation of photographic procedures. In the legacy of feminist and queer approaches to abstraction, Nelson urges us to reconsider the aesthetics and politics of representation. In this exhibition, she collaborates with the musician, sound artist, and vocalist Danishta Rivero (American, born 1978) on a live performance calling to mind messages sent back to Earth from outer space, resonating with the works on view.

In her essay in the exhibition brochure, Stefanie Hessler, independent curator, writes about Nelson’s work, “Auspicious and pioneering as future visions of life on Mars may seem, the images of a lonely rover roaming the surface of this faraway planet, long after completing its mission and abandoned by its twin, evoke a sense of anthropomorphic solitude. Warm Worlds and Otherwise, the book and the exhibition, highlight desires to tap into other worlds, the serendipity in searching for the unknown, and exercises in abstraction that elude preconceptions while sounding other possible futures. “

Organized by the University of Richmond Museums, the exhibition was curated by Richard Waller, Executive Director, University Museums, in collaboration with Brittany Nelson and Danishta Rivero. The exhibition and programs are made possible in part with funds from the Louis S. Booth Arts Fund.


Thursday, October 4, 2018
6 to 8 p.m., Opening reception and preview of the exhibition
Harnett Museum of Art, Modlin Center for the Arts
6:30 p.m., Performance in the museum by Danishta Rivero, musician, sound artist, and vocalist

Friday, October 5, 2018
12 to 1 p.m., Artist talk and walk through of the exhibition
Brittany Nelson and Danishta Rivero
Harnett Museum of Art, Modlin Center for the Arts

Sunday, October 7, 2018, 1 to 3 p.m.
Family Arts Day Celebration, University Museums and Modlin Center for the Arts
Join us for a FREE! arts-centered family fun day with the exhibitions Edward Weston: Portrait of the Young Man as an Artist, Man Up! Man Down! Images of Masculinity from the Harnett Print Study Center Collection, Infinite Choices: Abstract Drawings by Al Held, Warm Worlds and Otherwise: Brittany Nelson and Danishta Rivero, and The Human Comedy: Prints and Drawings by Isabel Bishop, hands-on art activities, and refreshments
3 p.m. Performance, Alice Jepson Theatre, featuring Theatre Heroes, Call of the Wild: Illustrated Edition
(paid tickets required for performance, for information visit modlin.richmond.edu)

Warm Worlds and Otherwise: Brittany Nelson and Danishta Rivero

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