OFF THE RULING CLASS: The Thinker Bombing and Other Acts of Cultural Aggression
Free with museum admission (reservations recommended)
Art matters. The 1970 bombing of the Cleveland Museum of Art’s Auguste Rodin statue The Thinker reinforced art’s symbolic power for a community. The destruction of art objects continues today as a political, religious, or cultural act of aggression. This panel discussion will use The Thinker bombing and Nevet Yitzhak’s new work, OFF THE RULING CLASS, as a springboard to explore the effects of cultural terrorism and the power of icons in secular society, issues that remain extremely relevant in light of the increased destruction of ancient artifacts and monuments in the Middle East.
Adam Levine, Ph.D. is the Assistant Director and Associate Curator of Ancient Art at the Toledo Museum of Art. Levine came from the Metropolitan Museum of Art as part of the Museum’s Mellon Fellowship program. His background includes doctorate and master’s degrees in art history from the University of Oxford, where he was a Rhodes Scholar, and bachelor’s degrees in art history, anthropology, and mathematics and social sciences from Dartmouth College, where he graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. He is an expert in Roman art. Levine is a co-founder of Art Research Technologies and has consulted for Sotheby’s and Art & Auction Magazine. He has also served as an art market and policy analyst for Oxford Analytica.
Pete Moore, Ph.D. is the Director of Graduate Studies and an Associate Professor for the Department of Political Science at Case Western Reserve University. His research interests focus on economic development and state-society relations in the Middle East and Africa; specifically, Gulf Arab States and Levant; business-state relations, privatization, and decentralization; sub-state conflict and regional security. Professor Moore currently serves on the Editorial Board of Middle East Report and is a member of the Northeast Ohio Consortium for Middle East Studies.
Behrang Samadzadegan is the Creative Fusion Visiting Artist at Zygote Press. Born in Tehran, Iran, Samadzadegan earned a bachelor’s degree in painting from the Tehran University of Arts and a master’s degree in painting from Tehran Tarbiat Modares University.
Behrang’s work ranges from highly symbolic pieces to arrangements of stuffed-toy sculptures, to installations that restage ritual or historical narratives. A critic and curator, Samadzadegan writes for art and journals and has organized numerous exhibitions incorporating works by fellow artists. His work questions the legitimacy of normative values and systems of authority, and attacks the sanctity of cultural attitudes toward politics, religion, sexuality, art history, and education. He examines cultural and social identity through found sources to reveal ways in which the history of colonialism, the civil rights movement, and totalitarian politics inform understandings of Iranian society.
Brittany M. Hudak is the Communications Manager of the CAN Journal (the quarterly publication of the Collective Arts Network, a group of over 80 arts organizations in Cleveland and throughout Northeast Ohio), an art writer, and independent curator based in Cleveland, Ohio. Most recently her research has focused on a critical examination of art vandalism and the ways in which institutions have historically silenced or downplayed such events. The resulting research will be published as a feature article in the CAN Journal’s Winter Issue: “Masked Men, Hatchets, and Bombs: Frank Oriti’s Clarity and the Silencing of Art Vandalism.”