Broad Art Lab Brings Art to the People

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Wednesday, September 12, 2018, 11:15 am
Somer Sodeman

Georgia Erger (above) has always wanted to bring art to the people, not people to the art.

At MSU’s Broad Art Lab, Erger did just that as she told stories of renowned photographers Eugene Atget, Eliot Elisofon and Ewing Galloway in her Aug. 15 presentation entitled “Capturing the Moving Image.”

Growing up in Toronto, Erger thought she wanted to be an artist after she attended Cardinal Carter Academy for the arts, an intensive art school for students in grades seven through twelve. There she discovered artists David Hockney, Louise Bourgeois, Giuseppe Penone and Abraham Cruzvillegas and realized it was their art she was interested in – along with other contemporary artists – more than creating her own.

“[Art] speaks to so many different areas,” Erger said. “It speaks to political issues, social issues and when it comes to photography, I like that it has roots in science.”

Erger is the Curatorial Assistant of the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, working closely with the Curatorial Team in the creation of exhibitions and content that goes into Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum. There, she researches artists and works with museums, galleries, and/or lenders to acquire art for the museum.

The Curatorial Team often works alongside the Education Team. The Education Team creates the educational programs and events for the museum. According to Erger, this team is passionate about providing as much information and access to the public as possible and was responsible for bringing “Capturing the Moving Image” to the Art Lab.

When creating exhibitions, Erger looks for art that speaks to issues that are relevant and important to the community.

“I just really wanted to show the way in which photography was so revolutionary,” Erger said. “Even though this happened in the 19th century and early 20th, it still really impacts how we see [art] and how we see art in other mediums.”

With each slide in the presentation, Erger told a story about the photographer and the reaction behind the photograph.

“The idea was to explore how photographers use different technology -- to look at what the expectations were when it began and how those expectations evolved,” Erger said. “People didn’t know how to interpret photography, ‘Was it really art? Was it solely documentation or evidence?’”

This presentation was not just another task for Erger to finish--it was a source from which to spark conversation with others about the history behind the photographs.

“I’ve always been really drawn to photography and those conversations that we were having about the myth of photographic transparency and the idea that photography is sometimes understood to be this mechanical trace of reality.”

“Capturing the Moving Image” was a predecessor to the sold-out event at the Art Lab on Aug. 25, Tintype Portraiture, in which participants will make and take home their own tintype portraits.

Erger has been the Curatorial Assistant of the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum for ten months. Although she doesn’t want to leave East Lansing just yet, she would someday love to find herself in New York or Los Angeles discovering the art around her.




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