Friday, March 25, 2011
Nora Ligorano and Marshall Reese have collaborated together as Ligorano/Reese since the early 80's. Nora Ligorano is a visual artist and graduated with a BFA in painting from Maryland Institute, College of Art. In 1982, she was a Fulbright fellow in design arts in Spain. Marshall Reese is a poet and video artist. In 1978, he received an NEA Creative Writers Fellowship for his poetry. He studied classical languages, classical art and architecture at Pomona College in California.
After 20 years of collaboration, Ligorano/Reese's process of making work has become seamless and the boundaries between their conceptual contributions have all but disappeared. Their installations, limited edition multiples and artists books have been exhibited at the Cleveland Museum of Art, Museum fur Angewandte Kunst (MAK) in Frankfurt, Germany, MIT MediaLab, Museum of Arts & Design, the Neuberger Museum of Art, the Rotunda Gallery, Schroder Romero Gallery, The Kitchen, the Sculpture Center, and Lincoln Center. They have received fellowships and funding from the Jerome Foundation, NYFA, NYSCA, the NEA and Art Matters.
Free Speech Zone is from a series of works concerning the library as a cultural site. The installation takes its title from the growing restriction of the exercise of First Amendment rights by quarantining protest to designated areas.
The artists' first site-specific library installation Acid Migration of Culture (Donnell Library Center, Manhattan, 1994) focused on the library as a site of conflict - an institutional lightening rod where significant cultural issues about censorship and access to information are being waged.
Today, the significance of these issues, a short decade later, has not only intensified but grown more polemic and urgent. The overreaching powers of the Patriot Act, coupled with the explosion of the internet and monopolization of private media threaten the very fabric and foundations of our country and way of life. These are the concerns, which led the artists to create the installation on view at the Donnell Library.