Jean-Michel Basquiat, Defacement (The Death of Michael Stewart), 1983. © The Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat / ADAGP, Paris / ARS, New York 2016.

Giving the Artworks a Voice


The current installation, Expressions, is by Jenny Gersten, Artistic Director of the Williamstown Theatre Festival (WTF). Gersten approached the exhibition by connecting to the art through the medium of theater. She was interested in how artworks express themselves and wanted to endeavor to give the artworks a voice. Gersten reached out to theater artists, specifically playwrights, and showed them particular images of art selected for the exhibition and asked them if they would either write something for it, or choose something already written that might accompany the work in some way. The result culminated with readings by actors from the WTF’s non-Equity company. Actor/director/MacArthur Recipient Bill Irwin directed the performance of works by Samuel Barclay Beckett, Liz Flahive, Alexandra Gersten-Vassilaros, Howard Korder, Donald Margulies, Itamar Moses, and Bess Wohl. When asked about the connection between the visual art and the written art Gersten responded, “There are very few chances to exercise one’s imagination anymore.  In the digital age when we can look up anything at any moment, it can be very limited. This is one of the great opportunities to exercise your imagination.” The performance took place at WCMA on Tuesday, July 19, 2011. The exhibition will be on display through Sunday, September 11, 2011.

Photo: Bill Irwin with Head of a Devotee, Central India, 10th-11th Century; Sandstone. Museum purchase, Karl E. Weston Memorial Fund, 77.30

2 Responses to Giving the Artworks a Voice

  1. BThree says:

    Wow nice moment you have captured. Its some thing like both are just scaring each other.

  2. Tina J says:

    Great photo – isn’t that what art is all about – expression!