Exhibition: Workshoptalk

In my last year of graduate school, I held a residential fellowship at the American Academy in Rome. As a final presentation of my dissertation research, I decided to produce a pop-up exhibition on my work—not just the content of my research, but the process of my research as well.

people viewing an exhibition
Visitors peruse my exhibition. Photo by John Lansdowne.

Fellows at the American Academy in Rome present “shoptalks” to share what they’re working on during their fellowships. For academics, shoptalks typically take the form of a lecture, while artists might opt for a studio visit instead.

Every day during my two years at the Academy, I spoke with artists, architects, historians, writers, designers, literary scholars, and composers about their work and how they did it. When the time came to give my final shoptalk, I knew I wanted to take that opportunity to share my work in a new way. I settled on an exhibition that would present not just what I did, but also how I did it. I wanted to take all the work I did alone in my office and display it as a creative process.

I installed the show myself over a weekend, opened it for one night, and took it down the next day. Those days stick with me as some of the happiest times I have spent thinking and communicating about my research.

Browse more images from the exhibition below.