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Art Gallery

Curators: Rebecca L. Farinas, Aleksandra Łukaszewicz Alcaraz
Artists: Jan Gilbert, Dominika Kotarba, Lew Thomas, Zbigniew Romańczuk, Łukasz Skąpski


The Vital Task at Hand


Philosophy through the lens of this gallery is not an academic subject but is put into practice. We, as two scholars who are both active in the arts and philosophy, wanted to also put the viewer and reader into this mix of creative practices. When discussing how best to expand the physical conference, Emancipation: Challenges at the Intersection of American and European Philosophy, we decided to curate an online art exhibition, which runs alongside the explorations into the many fascinating philosophies presented on the site in essay form. We wanted philosophies of art to perform freely, not just to be merely theoretical aspects of a textbook kind of logic. Our thesis is that art is philosophy as a living instrument of freedom and social change […]



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American and European Emancipation of Art


The theme of this gallery is to investigate challenges and possible solutions to problems of emancipation. My perspective is that liberation is cultural, and in order to change unjust societies people need to act and think democratically through their everyday relationships. In this introduction I want to explain how three of the gallery’s artists expand upon the overarching theme while interpreting their art with my views in mind.

“Emancipation” is defined as a political struggle for equal rights. In the past the word called to mind monumental yet polemic movements of social change that were associated with renowned leaders such as Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Emmeline Pankhurst, Che Guavara. Contemporarily emancipation can be understood as a global culture of reciprocity, acted out through peoples’ impartial relationships. Activists may or may not be famous, as they are involved with familiar rituals and commonplace demonstrations of respect for varied perspectives and universal rights […]



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Dominika Kotarba


My name is Dominika Kotarba and I am a sound designer from Warsaw, Poland. My mother, who is a pianist, initiated my interest in music and the world of sound when I was a child. Following fifteen years of piano playing, I completed a degree in Sound Engineering from the Chopin University of Music in […]



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Lew Thomas


Lew Thomas is co-founder of NFS PRESS, San Francisco, 1976, with Donna-Lee Phillips. Selected titles published between 1976 & 1981 include: Photography and Language, 1976, Eros And Photography, 1977, Structural(ism) and Photography, 1978, and Still Photography: The Problematic Model (co-editor, Peter D’Agostino). The four publications provided visual space and text for more than 100 photographers, […]



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Jan Gilbert


JAN GILBERT (www.jangilbertart.com) is a native New Orleanian, an interdisciplinary artist, curator and educator. Her works have been shown widely in galleries, museums, cultural centers and often as public art on city streets across the United States and abroad. The Pollock-Krasner Foundation, Southern Arts Federation/National Endowment for the Arts, Louisiana Division of the Arts, and […]



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Art as Experience and Formal Emancipation


Art as Experience – this is a famous phrase relating art to the philosophical field of American pragmatism. It is also the title of John Dewey‘s book in which he presents art as a specific kind of enriching experience. Experiencing art as a participatory activity allows us not to treat it as a vast collection of works of art, that is specific to material objects, but to ask questions about how art influences us. How do we change due to aesthetic experiences? These are questions on art’s performativity, in that we find we are now concerned with how artistic objects and aesthetic experiences can change the world, as art becomes an active provocative agent of such change. W.J.T. Mitchell’s exemplary theory, with his radical understanding of pictures, is a contemporary theory in the area of visual culture studies, reflecting such questions […]



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Zbigniew Romańczuk


Zbigniew Romańczuk was born in 1960. In 1983 he graduated from the Institute of Artistic Education at Maria Curie Skłodowska University in Lublin, and he then worked as a researcher at the University of Szczecin. In the years 1993-1994 he performed an internship as part of a grant at the Royal Academy of Art in […]



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Łukasz Skąpski


Łukasz Skąpski studied painting in Cracow and lives there. He makes photography, video films, installations, objects, etc. Throughout the 90-ties light and motion (almost imperceptible changing) were subjects (and materials) of his work. The Devices series, one of his best recognized works, conceptually and symbolically pertains to this area. Perfectly made optical instruments were designed […]



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