Nearly six months after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the lectures have tapered off, the blood drives have become less frequent, and many Master’s Teas are addressing other subjects. But the response is not over, as shown by a campuswide call for art in reaction to the acts of terror.
The Joseph Slifka Center for Jewish Life at Yale is welcoming art submissions for its new show, “Response,” which will feature art about the terrorist attacks and their aftermath. The show will open in April, seven months after the attacks.
Linda Friedlaender, the head of the arts committee at Slifka and curator of education at the British Art Center, said she proposed the show in hopes that it will encourage dialogue. She said she anticipates that art will raise questions that lectures and other types of discussions have not addressed.
“It’s a cathartic way for people to demonstrate how they feel,” Friedlaender said. “It’s an alternate method of self-expression. We can hear all the lectures we want, but some people need art to express themselves and process events.”
Friedlaender said “Response” is the first Yalewide call for artistic response to the attacks.
“Doing it on a university campus offers a unique audience,” Friedlaender said. “We knew there would be tremendous resonance in this community.”
The show will be free and open to the public and all members of the Yale community, including students, staff, faculty and family members, are invited to submit. The submissions process is not competitive and Tova Friedman ’03, a member of the arts committee at Slifka, said she hopes this fact will encourage all community members to participate in the show.
“We really want to encourage people who have never shown their art before or even created art before to feel comfortable showing their art,” Friedman said.
Planning for the show began months ago when Friedlaender proposed the show to the Slifka arts committee. Despite Slifka’s role as a center for Jewish life at Yale, Friedman said that Slifka has been committed to bringing art to the entire Yale community.
“Slifka’s a community space,” Friedman said. “It’s a space we’d like to welcome the Yale community into, and share that sense of community with everyone else.”
The arts committee is still working on developing programming related to the show. In addition to an opening event, Friedlaender said she expects there will be a forum for the artists to discuss their work, a discussion of artistic expression by the art faculty, and lectures sponsored by other groups on campus.
Although the exhibit is open to all, the arts committee included a censorship clause on the entry form. Friedman said she does not expect the committee to reject art, but the clause is there in case anyone submits art the committee finds too offensive.
Slifka has gallery space on the second floor, and plans to expand the exhibition from there to other parts of the building, depending on the volume of submissions.