February 7, Friday (through April 20)

Performance Now

Middlebury College Museum of Art, Christian A. Johnson Memorial Gallery

A selection of works by artists who practice a variety of art-making procedures, Performance Now features videos, objects, films, and installations that document ephemeral occurrences. Including works by Marina Abramovic, William Kentridge, Clifford Owens, and Laurie Simmons, among many others, the exhibition surveys critical and experimental currents in this historically significant, global development in art practice. Free

Performance Now is a traveling exhibition produced by Independent Curators International (ICI), New York; and by Performa, New York. The curator for the exhibition is RoseLee Goldberg, artistic director and founder of Performa. The exhibition and tour are made possible, in part, by grants from the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation; the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; the ICI Board of Trustees; and donors to ICI’s Access Fund. At Middlebury the exhibit is supported by funds from the Christian A. Johnson Memorial Foundation.

Pictured: Allora & Calzadilla, Stop, Repair, Prepare, 2009, video documentation on DVD, 24 min., 54 sec. Courtesy of the artists, Gladstone Gallery New York and Brussels, and the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

February 11, Tuesday

Vermont Architecture on Vermont Edition

Noon and 7:00 PM, Vermont Public Radio

Professor of History of Art and Architecture Glenn Andres and photographer Curtis Johnson appear on VPR's Vermont Edition to discuss their book The Buildings of Vermont and the concurrent exhibition Observing Vermont Architecture at the Middlebury College Museum of Art. Both the book and the exhibition survey buildings both grand and humble, designed by laymen as well as prominent state and national architects.


February 11, Tuesday (through February 18)

Sculptural Architecture: The Lilliputian Meets the Gargantuan

Johnson Memorial Building

In Jim Butler’s fall class Sculptural Architecture, students created sculptures that are intricate, miniature buildings, specifically designed to be installed somewhere on campus. This exhibition of their work shows mastery of small-scale-construction skills used by both artists and architects. Each piece is accompanied by a large-scale photograph depicting it installed in situ. Sponsored by the Program in Studio Art. Free

Pictured: Sage Taber ’16, Dwelling for the Many, 2012, Ecuadoran balsa wood, 16 x 12 inches


February 13, Thursday

Playing the Good Neighbor: Hitler's Domestic Makeover and the Power of Interior Design

4:30 PM, Mahaney Center for the Arts, Room 125

Lecture by Despina Stratigakos, professor of architectural history at the University at Buffalo. She is the author of A Women’s Berlin: Building the Modern City, a history of a forgotten metropolis and winner of the German Studies Association DAAD Book Prize.  Her current book project, Hitler at Home, investigates the architectural and ideological construction of the Führer’s domesticity. Sponsored by the Department of History of Art and Architecture and the Program in Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies. Free

Pictured: Haus Wachenfield, postcard in the National Archives in College Park, Maryland

February 13, Thursday

Performance Now Screenings: The Music of Regret and Untitled (Working Title: Kids and Dogs)

7:30 PM, Axinn Center, Room 232

Two film screenings, presented in conjunction with the exhibition Performance Now, on view at the Middlebury College Museum of Art. First is The Music of Regret [2006] by Laurie Simmons. A mini-musical in three acts, this video reflects Simmons’s photographic work. Colorful puppets enact the dissention between two families over a job promotion. In lyrics written by Simmons, Meryl Streep and a male dummy sing romantic duets about the failure of communication and attachment. In the final act, inanimate objects­­--a gun, a house, and a pocket watch embodied by Alvin Ailey 2 dancers--­­perform passionately for auditions. The New Yorker credited Simmons for making “a film about the inevitable post-Warhol art-world nexus of irony, finance, and glamour.” (40 minutes) Next is Untitled (Working Title: Kids and Dogs) [2007] by Nathalie Djurberg and Hans Berg. Swedish artist Djurberg is best known for her “claymation” films: stop-action, animated cartoons using clay puppets. In this film, an army of children on the streets of a large city is at war with a pack of dogs. The second scene takes place in a hospital where the wounded have been brought for treatment. Throughout the film, one hears the beat of a bass drum played by two live drummers in military marching band costumes. In addition, the sounds of crunching cereal and squeaking dog toys accompany the images of marching children, crying patients, and firing machine guns. (33 minutes). Sponsored by the Middlebury College Museum of Art. Free


February 15, Saturday


3:00 and 8:00 PM, Dana Auditorium

The first feature film shot entirely in Saudi Arabia, by the country’s first female director, Haifaa Al-Mansour, Wadjda is the award-winning story of an enterprising young Saudi girl. All she wants to do is buy the green bicycle she sees every day on her way to school, but money and gender expectations stand in her way. When nothing else seems to work, she enters a Qu’ran recital for a large cash prize. “With enormous sympathy for all, Al Mansour captures the isolation of Saudi women and their parallel lives of freedom at home and invisibility outside”—Variety. In Arabic with subtitles. Sponsored by the Hirschfield International Film Series.  (Haifaa Al-Mansour, Saudi Arabia/Germany, 2012, 98 minutes) Free

February 15, Saturday

The Dick Forman Jazz Group

8:00 PM, Mahaney Center for the Arts, Concert Hall

The Dick Forman Jazz Group will present an evening of sparkling, sophisticated mainstream jazz. The DFJG’s ballads, blues, bebop and swing are sure to set toes tapping.  Long a favorite of Vermont audiences, the Jazz Group features Dick on piano, with some of New England’s finest musicians:  Paul Asbell, guitar; Michael Zsoldos, sax; Jim Daggs, bass and Geza Carr, drums.  Forman is the Music Department’s Director of Jazz Activities and an Affiliate Artist. Sponsored by the Department of Music. Free


February 17, Monday

Glenn Andres: Observing Vermont Architecture

4:30 PM, Twilight Auditorium

Back by popular demand, Professor of History of Art and Architecture Glenn Andres reprises his earlier talk that drew an over-capacity crowd. Andres speaks  about the current exhibition Observing Vermont Architecture, surveying buildings both grand and humble, designed by laymen as well as prominent state and national architects. Sponsored by the Middlebury College Museum of Art and the Friends of the Art Museum. Free


February 17, Monday

Gandhian Design, Language, and Determined Spaces: Architectural Adaptation in a Kolami Village in India

Lecture by Venugopal Madipatti

7:30 PM, Johnson Memorial Building, Room 304

Venugopal Madipatti is Assistant Professor at Ambedkar University. Cosponsored by the Department of History of Art and Architecture, IGS/SAS, Rohatyn Center for Global Studies, Director of the Arts, and Cameron Visiting Architect funds. Free


February 19, Wednesday

Behind-the-Scenes Lunch and Discussion: Dance Company of Middlebury

12:30 PM, Mahaney Center for the Arts, Dance Theatre

Join the students, faculty, and staff of the Dance Company of Middlebury and hear about the creation of their upcoming premiere, The Meaning of the Masks. Lunch is provided. Free for Middlebury College ID card holders; $5 donation suggested for community members.

Photo Alan Kimara Dixon


February 20, Thursday

Performance Now Screenings: Situations and ¿Quién Puede Borrar las Huellas? [Who can erase the traces?]

7:30 PM, Axinn Center, Room 232

Two film screenings, presented in conjunction with the exhibition Performance Now, on view at the Middlebury College Museum of Art. First is Claire Fontaine's Situations, offering a droll series of lessons on self-defense. How to repel surprise knife attacks and bar confrontations as well as other forms of man-to-man street fighting tactics are demonstrated. The information may not be of great use to art crowd viewers, but the entertainment value offsets the dread. (2011, France, single-channel video, color, sound, 35 minutes. Courtesy of the artist and Metro Pictures, New York) Next is  ¿Quién Puede Borrar las Huellas? [Who can erase the traces?] by Regina José Galindo. A young woman in a black dress walks barefoot through the streets of Guatemala City. Carrying a basin filled with blood, she stops occasionally, puts down her burden, and steps into it. As she continues on her way she leaves footprints to invoke the spirits of thousands of victims of Guatamala’s brutal civil war. (2003, Guatemala, single-channel video, 38 minutes. Courtesy of Prometeo Gallery di Ida Pisani and the artist) Free


February 21–22, Friday–Saturday

Dance Company of Middlebury:
The Meaning of the Masks

8:00 PM each evening, and 3:00 PM on Saturday only, Mahaney Center for the Arts, Dance Theatre

Directed by Assistant Professor Christal Brown, the 2014 dance company explores the cultural underpinnings of masking through movement. Their investigation of cultural collectivism and dissonance is activated by three social catalysts: Butoh performance with guest artist Shizu Homma; fashion design and contemporary choreography with guest artist Ayo Janeen Jackson; and carnival with participation in the New Waves Dance and Performance Institute’s performance studies program in Trinidad and Tobago. Inspired by these experiences, the company premieres three original works. Sponsored by the Dance Program. Tickets: $12/10/6; on sale January 27. 

Photo Alan Kimara Dixon

Opening February 21, Friday (on view through May 8)

The Place of Dance Book Photo Exhibition

Davis Family Library, Upper Level

Ten images from faculty member Andrea Olsen's new book The Place of Dance will be on exhibit, including faculty, alumni, and current students. The book is published by Wesleyan University Press and was created with Olsen's colleague Carolyn McHose. Free



February 22, Saturday

Ain’t Them Bodies Saints

3:00 and 8:00 PM, Dana Auditorium

Director David Lowery’s 2013 film is set in 1970s Texas, where outlaw Bob Muldoon tries to reunite with his wife, Ruth, and the child he has never met. Bob’s path is blocked by hard-hearted cop Patrick, who further complicates the picture by falling in love with Ruth. Borrowing largely from the standardized Western genre, but still preserving a style all its own, this film combines superb acting with unique cinematography. Peter Debruge of Variety calls this lyrical and exhilarating movie “slow as molasses but every bit as rich.” Sponsored by the Hirschfield International Film Series. (David Lowery, US, 2013, 105 minutes) Free


February 23, Sunday

Alexander Melnikov, piano

3:00 PM, Mahaney Center for the Arts, Concert Hall

The New York Times calls pianist Alexander Melnikov’s performances “electrifying and rhapsodic.” The Washington Post says, “his imagination and ability to create long narrative arcs . . . put him among the most elite pianists today.” The last time Melnikov played in Middlebury, everyone asked us when would he be coming back. On this return engagement, he performs Schumann’s Symphonic Etudes, and Book Two of Shostakovich’s 24 Preludes and Fugues. Associate Professor of Music Larry Hamberlin offers a pre-concert lecture at 2:15 PM in Room 221. Sponsored by the Performing Arts Series, with support from anonymous PASS producer-level members. Reserved Seating. Tickets: $25/20/6.


Photo Marco Borggreve

February 24, Monday

Mario’s Dynamic Leaps: Musical Innovations and Backwards Glances in Donkey Kong and Super Mario Bros

4:30 PM, Axinn Center, Room 229

Nintendo’s two ground-breaking games, 1981’s Donkey Kong and 1985’s Super Mario Bros., are both justifiably lauded for their pioneering innovations of the genre of the platform game, but their music also deserves attention. Speaker Neil Lerner, musicologist and co-coordinator of the Concentration in Film and Media Studies at Davidson College in North Carolina, will explore the music for both games as case studies.  Both looked towards both the past, in their evocation of musical gestures, styles, and techniques associated with the days of early twentieth century cinema; and also hinted at the future with their groundbreaking uses of a series of tonally- and motivically-related cues. Sponsored by the Department of Film and Media Culture, the Department of Music, and the Committee on the Arts. Free

February 24, Monday

The Harp Is the Hunter's Qur'an: Text, Performance, and Narrative in Dozo Hunting Songs of Northwestern Côte d'Ivoire

7:30 PM, Mahaney Center for the Arts, Room 221

Talk by Dr. Joseph Hellweg, anthropology and religion professor teaching at Florida State and working in West Africa. In Côte d'Ivoire, West Africa, dozo hunters promise publicly to kill game. They shame themselves if they fail to do so. Snakes, spirits, and shape-shifting sorcerers of the forests make these promises risky. Musicians help dozos realize them, praising and provoking hunters in song, especially during all-night celebrations of dozo funerals. Dozo songs and the dances that singers lead spin stories of space, sound, and movement that clarify the dozo role and compel dozos to fulfill it. As Ruth Finnegan and Karin Barber have shown, such texts need not be on paper to be written. Their performances constitute a scripture as ethical as any that dozos practice in their lives as Muslims. Their ability to reconcile their worlds as both hunters and Muslims testifies to a cosmopolitan culture in short supply in the ethnic politics of Côte d'Ivoire in the past two decades. At a time when Manuel Vásquez has called for abandoning textual metaphors for ritual performance in favor of more embodied alternatives, dozo hunters challenge us to appreciate their embodied texts. Sponsored by the Department of Music, Department of Sociology/Anthropology, the Mahaney Center for the Arts, African Studies, and the Rohatyn Center for  Global Affairs. Free

February 25, Tuesday

Cameron Visiting Artist Talk: Jake Winiski

4:30 PM, Johnson Memorial Building, Room 304

Jake Winiski is an artist on the research and design team for rapidly expanding company Ecovative Design, where fungi are transformed into rigid molded materials. Ecovative is working to replace styrofoam with environmentally friendly mycelia packaging.  In his own work, Winiski explores the image as a shared space between the fabrication of the model, and its expansion and metamorphosis behind the window of the photograph. His mixed media images underscore the free-associative manner in which internal fantasy can project itself into the world. Sponsored by the Program in Studio Art and the Cameron Family Arts Enrichment Fund. Free

Pictured: Jake Winiski, from Polaroid Landscape Series


February 26, Wednesday

Greg Vitercik: "Richard Wagner and the Revolution of Love"

4:30 PM, The Orchard (Room 103), The Franklin Environmental Center at Hillcrest

Presented as part of the Carol Rifelj Faculty Lecture Series. Free




February 27, Thursday

Performance Now: RoseLee Goldberg

4:30 PM, Mahaney Center for the Arts, Concert Hall

Illustrated lecture by RoseLee Goldberg, director and founder of the Performa Institute in New York, author of the path-breaking text Performance Art: From Futurism to the Present, and curator of the current museum exhibition Performance Now. Sponsored by the Middlebury College Museum of Art, Department of Theatre and Dance, Department of History of Art and Architecture, Director of the Arts, and the Friends of the Art Museum. Free


Mahaney Center for the Arts
Middlebury College
South Main St./Route 30 South
72 Porter Field Rd.
Middlebury, VT 05753
(802) 443-3168 phone
(802) 443-2834 fax