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The Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden partners with the Department of State’s Office of Art in Embassies, in collaboration with the Embassy of Brazil, to bring renowned Brazilian contemporary artist Vik Muniz to Washington for a “Meet the Artist” lecture Wednesday, May 31, in conversation with Sarah Thornton, bestselling author of Seven Days in the Art World (2008).
Muniz, a sculptor and photographer, is best known for creating what he calls “photographic delusions,” often recreating recognized imagery from pop culture or art history using unexpected, everyday objects. Working with a dizzying array of unconventional materials—including chocolate, diamonds, dust and sugar—the artist forms three-dimensional narratives before recording the final images with his camera. His work is simultaneously humorous and incisively critical, recognized for its ironic and playful qualities.
Muniz is also interested in activism, and he starred in the award-winning documentary Waste Land (2010), which follows the artist as he aims to depict the lives of the catadores—pickers of recyclable materials in the world’s largest landfill just outside of Rio de Janeiro. The Hirshhorn will screen the film Sunday, May 28.
The programs mark the second installment in the Hirshhorn’s ongoing partnership with the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Art in Embassies, a global program that fosters public diplomacy through the visual arts. The collaboration will allow both institutions to develop international exhibitions, extended loans, artist residencies and programming.
Film Screening: Waste Land
Sunday, May 28; 2 p.m.
Introduction and post-film discussion with Vivaldo Santos, associate professor at Georgetown University
Meet the Artist: Vik Muniz
Wednesday, May 31; 6:30 p.m.
Muniz in conversation with Sarah Thornton
Both events are free and open to the public, with first-come, first-served seating.
About the Hirshhorn
The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden is the national museum of modern and contemporary art and a leading voice for 21st-century art and culture. Part of the Smithsonian, the Hirshhorn is located prominently on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. With nearly 12,000 paintings, sculptures, photographs, mixed-media installations, works on paper and new media works, its holdings encompass one of the most important collections of postwar American and European art in the world. The Hirshhorn presents diverse exhibitions and offers an array of public programs on the art of our time—free to all, 364 days a year. For more information, visit hirshhorn.si.edu.
About Art in Embassies
Art in Embassies (AIE) was initiated by the Museum of Modern Art in 1953 and formalized as part of the U.S. Department of State by the Kennedy Administration in 1963. For over 55 years, AIE’s global focus of cultural diplomacy through the visual arts has engaged over 23,000 partnerships with individual and institutional participants in over 200 venues in 189 countries worldwide. For more information, visit art.state.gov.
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