University Galleries presents a screening of Su Hui’s Picture of the Turning Sphere, a collaboration by artists Jen Bervin and Charlotte Lagarde, and a discussion with the artists. This free digital program will be available online Wednesday, October 28, from noon through 11:30 p.m. only. Free registration is available via Eventbrite.
This program is organized in conjunction with Shift Rotate Reflect, Selected Works (1997–2020), the first survey of artist and poet Jen Bervin’s work. The screening will be introduced by exhibition curator Kendra Paitz, director and chief curator at University Galleries, and followed by a conversation moderated by Jennifer Yee, associate director, Public Programs at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.
Shift Rotate Reflect premieres Su Hui’s Picture of the Turning Sphere (2016–2020), Bervin’s collaboration with filmmaker Lagarde. The multichannel video and textile installation, self-described as a “feminist listening room,” focuses on Chinese poet Su Hui and her fourth-century reversible poem, “Xuanji tu.” Structured on an astronomical gauge and stitched in five colors, the poem was written in a 29-x-29-character grid and can be read in any direction to yield almost 8,000 possible interpretations.
Bervin and Lagarde created a rotation of four projected videos featuring commentary from eight Chinese women: an algorithmic game theorist, calligrapher, art researcher, astrophysicist, artist, novelist, and literary scholars. Bervin and Lagarde also partnered with a contemporary embroidery studio in Suzhou, China, to create two new renderings of the poem using a specialized double-sided silk embroidery technique on translucent silk screens. The finished embroideries and a video projection of the embroidery process are included in the installation.
This program is supported by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Illinois Arts Council Agency, Harold K. Sage Foundation, and the Illinois State University Foundation Fund.
Visit the exhibition page for Jen Bervin: Shift Rotate Reflect (Selected Works, 1997-2020) to view exhibition images, educational handouts, and a reading list compiled by Bervin. You can also access an artmaking video inspired by Bervin’s artist’s books and listen to interviews with director and chief curator Kendra Paitz about the exhibition.
Visit Jen Bervin: Shift Rotate Reflect (Selected Works, 1997-2020) in-person by booking a free reservation.