The show goes up at MIT List Visual Arts Center
An exhibition called “Robota,” by artist Matthew Angelo Harrison, has gone up at MIT and will be displayed there until July 24. Harrison creates sculptures and installations, exploring the themes of colonialism, capitalism, and racism, “while subtly addressing the aspects of identity formation and desire that underlie our relationship to objects,” according to an MIT website. On April 12, the List Center will be hosting a behind the scenes tour, with Exhibition Curator Natalie Bell. On April 13, they will hold a talk with museum educators.
The List Center described Harrison’s thought process behind this particular exhibition, examining his inspirations:
“Harrison’s List Center exhibition includes a recent body of work from the artist’s Dark Silhouette series, which initially featured animal skeletal remains or wood sculptures from West Africa encased in vitrine-like solid resin blocks that he carves into using CNC routers that he designs and builds. In a recent turn, Harrison has centered material traces of Detroit’s auto industry and its labor organizing in his crystalline encapsulations. In examining artifacts of union organizing under the exhibition title Robota, Harrison attends to the devaluation of human labor amid the technological promise of robotics in the auto industry and furthers his exploration of the materiality of Blackness, labor, and technology. Read in dialogue with his encapsulations of African sculptures, these recent works, with allusions to robotics, speak to contemporary expansionist and imperialist desires and remind us how such projects are predicated on delineating the categories of human and non-human.”
Shira Laucharoen is a reporter based in Boston. She currently serves as the assistant director of the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism. In the past she has written for Sampan newspaper, The Somerville Times, Scout Magazine, Boston Magazine, and WBUR.