Trustman Art Gallery


One-Person Exhibition of Photographic Works by Chantal Zakari

September 5 - October 5

Simmons University presents “Transgress,” a solo show of photographic works by Chantal Zakari, Sept. 5–Oct. 5 at the Simmons University Trustman Art Gallery, fourth floor, Main College Building, 300 The Fenway in Boston. There will be a reception featuring the artist, from 5–6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 6. The exhibit is free and open to the public.

Zakari’s 10-foot-high murals will transform the Trustman Gallery into a metaphorical internet chat room using video capture images from the project webAffairs, the artist’s documentary about an adult web community. In counterpoint will be a collection of 4×6 digital prints: portraits of people, either performing for the camera or gazing into a monitor. Snippets of text, transcribed from actual chat rooms, will be posted on the adjacent gallery walls.

The issue of privacy is central to the exhibition. In virtual space, participants reside in their own environment at home or at work – a private space. However, the image they create is broadcast into a virtual chatroom, a very public space. The translation and presentation of these images in “Transgress” will create a forum for dialogue around the topics of privacy, ethics, and the public/private arena.

“Transgress” is the first of three fall exhibits in the series “Spinning Straw into Gold: The Ethics of Production,” curated by Trustman Gallery Director Barbara O’Brien. The series focuses on the inspiration for and production of contemporary art in a Post-appropriation age where the “hunt and gather” model has expanded from art historical images to pop culture, and now includes the cyber arena.

A panel discussion featuring Zakari and other artists in the “Spinning Straw into Gold: The Ethics of Production” series will be held on Thursday, Oct. 11 from 4:30 – 6 p.m. in the Kotzen Meeting Center at Simmons University. Other artists on the panel include Two Girls Working: Tiffany Ludwig and Renee Piechocki; Deborah Bohnert; and Rachel Dayson-Levy.

Also in conjunction with the series is a lecture by noted art critic and scholar Donald Kuspit. Kuspit will give an address on the topic of “Ethics in the Post-appropriation Age” on Nov. 14 at 7 p.m. in the Linda K. Paresky Conference Center at Simmons University.

The series, “Spinning Straw into Gold: The Ethics of Production,” was funded by the LEF Foundation and by the Catherine Hannah Behrend Class of ’70 Fund.

Zakari earned her MFA and BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is currently on faculty at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. She has an impressive record of exhibits including solo shows at The Erotic Museum, LA. In 2005 she published webAffairs under the working name Show-n-tell. In 2002 Zakari was a fellow at the MacDowell Colony.

Trustman Art Gallery hours are 10 AM – 4:30 PM, Monday, Tuesday, and Friday, 10 AM – 7 PM on Wednesday and Thursday. The gallery is free, open to the public and wheelchair accessible. For more information, contact Kyle Mendelsohn at (617) 521-2268 or find us on Instagram.