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Syracuse University-based arts organization celebrates resurgence of its flagship publication, ‘Point of Contact’
Syracuse University-based arts organization celebrates resurgence of its flagship publication, ‘Point of Contact’November 20, 2001Judy Holmesjlholmes@syr.edu
“Point of Contact,” the journal of verbal and visual arts published by a Syracuse University-based organization for the arts, is back after a four-year hiatus. To celebrate, Punto de Contacto/Point of Contact, Inc. and Eureka Crafts are hosting an exhibition of the work of nationally and internationally renowned artists who have been featured in “Point of Contact” since it was first published in 1975. The opening reception for the exhibition will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Dec. 1 at Eureka Crafts, 210 Walton St., Syracuse.
The exhibition will feature some 25 works by eight New York City artists, including Liliana Porter, photographer and video artist who is currently exhibiting in the Museum of Modern Art; Marco Maggi, whose sculpture was featured in the April 2001 edition of “Art News”; and Ana Tiscornia, an artist, photographer and writer from Uruguay who has exhibited in New York City, France, Germany and Sweden. Both Maggi and Tiscornia are also featured in the new issue of “Point of Contact.”
“Every issue of ‘Point of Contact’ is a work of art,” says Pedro Cuperman, founder of the journal and associate professor of languages, literature and linguistics in SU’s College of Arts and Sciences. “All of the work we publish is original work done exclusively for the journal. We feature the famous and the not so famous. Some of the artists we have featured have later gone on to become internationally renowned.”
In 1993, “Point of Contact” featured the work of photographers Rimma Gerlovina and Valeriy Gerlovin. In 1996, this same group of photographs was featured in a New York Times Magazine article, “Effacing Ourselves.” One photo was featured on the magazine’s cover.
The new issue of “Point of Contact,” titled “On Silence,” is dedicated to composer John Cage (1912-1992) and sculptor Nancy Graves (1940-1995), who created a cover for “Point of Contact” in 1995. The cover design was later used to create a ceramic tile floor sculpture for Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. Silence is the theme of all of the contributions in the issue. Artist Nam June Paik designed the front and back covers for the issue and five pages of original artwork for the inside. Known as the “father of video art,” Paik’s work has been influenced by Cage.
Other contributors to the issue include Robert Ashley, a prominent avant garde composer for the theater; Raimon Panikkar, renowned Indian philosopher and theologian who lives in Spain; scholar and filmmaker Peter Wollen; Cuperman and Owen Shapiro, associate editor of “Point of Contact” and professor of art media studies in SU’s College of Visual and Performing Arts.
A filmmaker in his own right, Shapiro recently won a 2001 Chris Award in the Columbus International Film Festival for his 30-minute video “Prisoners of Freedom: Greta’s Story.” Shapiro’s feature-length film, “Prisoners of Freedom,” will premiere Dec. 2 at a private screening for cast and crew in SU’s Shemin Auditorium. The film, which is based on the experiences of European refugees who lived at the Fort Ontario emergency shelter in Oswego during World War II, will be released to the public in early 2002.
“Point of Contact” will publish biannually. Upcoming themes include a special issue on Jorge Luis Borges that will include contributions by American and Latin American scholars and artists, and an issue on Paris Noir (Black Paris) that will feature contributions about the experiences of African, Central and South Americans in Paris during the 1930s.
“This is not a scholarly journal,” Shapiro says. “We don’t ask our contributors to write library pieces. Rather we invite people to do some creative thinking about a topic and send us the results.”
In addition to publishing the journal, Punto de Contacto/Point of Contact, Inc. has sponsored symposiums, film festivals and lectures at Syracuse University. In February 2001, the organization sponsored “Reading Poetry in the Year 2001” and, in October, featured the works of students in the 2001 New Filmmakers Showcase at Hoyts Carousel Cinema.
Plans for next year include an on-campus presentation on April 11, 2002 by Israeli filmmaker Moshe Mizrahi, who won a 1977 Academy Award for best foreign film for “Madam Rosa” and a major art exhibition at Lubin House, Syracuse University’s center in New York City.
The resurgence of the journal has been made possible with grants from The College of Arts and Sciences, and the support of the Department of Languages, Literatures and Linguistics, the College of Visual and Performing Arts and SU’s Division of International Programs Abroad.
For subscription information, call Christine Fawcett, executive director of “Point of Contact,” at 315-443-2247 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Officially chartered in 1870 as a private, coeducational institution of higher education, Syracuse University is a leading student-centered research university. Syracuse’s 11 schools and colleges share a common mission: to promote learning through teaching, research, scholarship, creative accomplishment and service while embracing the core values of quality, caring, diversity, innovation and service. The 680-acre campus is home to more than 18,000 full- and part-time undergraduate and graduate students from all 50 states and 90 countries.