ArtsATL > Art+Design > New gallery director and “Spirited Calligraphy” at GSU; “Hysterical” performance at Emory

New gallery director and “Spirited Calligraphy” at GSU; “Hysterical” performance at Emory

This just in: Cynthia Farnell, formerly art professor and director of the Bryan Art Gallery at Coastal Carolina University, has been named the new director of the Ernest G. Welch School of Art + Design Gallery of Georgia State University. More on this later.

The exhibition of ancient Islamic calligraphy at the Michael C. Carlos Museum now has a contemporary counterpart. “Spirited Calligraphy: Text, Marks, and Meanings — East and West” opens Thursday at Georgia State University’s Welch Gallery.

On Friday, the GSU art department will host “Calligraphy in Action,” a symposium including speakers Kevin Hseih and Craig Drennen and performances by Japanese and Chinese calligraphers. Junco Pollack, who curated the show, will moderate. 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Alumni Hall, Georgia State University, 30 Courtland Street.

PERFORMANCE AND PERFORMANCE COLLOQUIUM AT EMORY

Hysteria — defined variously as psychosomatic illness, lack of control over one’s emotions or histrionic behavior — is a woman’s disease.

Its treatment — call it the taming of the womb — has ranged through the centuries from herbs and potions to dildos and genital mutilation and, of course, psychoanalysis.

But as Chicago author Terri Kapsalis will tell you, hysteria is a medical fiction. After spending six years researching its 4,000-year history, she decided to fight fiction with fiction. “The Hysterical Alphabet,” her 2008 Victorian-style primer, was a witty but pointed account of misogyny and quackery.

“The Hysterical Alphabet” is now a performance. You can see it Thursday evening at Emory University. Theater Oobleck’s multimedia presentation features Kapsalis reading the text, John Corbett’s strange music and Danny Thompson’s inventive videos.

“It’s whimsical and deeply tragic,” says Emory graduate student Joey Orr, who is producing the Atlanta performance.

Like “Memory Flash,” an LGBT oral history/public art piece which Orr co-authored, this performance merges critical history and artistic practice. The artists will speak about their work at a colloquium open to the public on Thursday.

Noon-1 p.m. Thursday, October 7: “Performing Research: Artistic, Collaborative & Multimedia Practices.” Institute of Liberal Arts Conference Room, S423 Callaway Center.

7 p.m. Thursday, October 7: “The Hysterical Alphabet.” Emory University Performing Arts Studio,1804 N. Decatur Road.

Both events are free.

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