Hidden in Plain Sight: Conversation and Book Signing with Julie Ault and Howie Chen

March 16, 2023 – March 16, 2023
6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Magnum Foundation

59 East 4th St., 7W
New York, NY

Image courtesy of the event organizer.

Image courtesy of the event organizer.

Magnum Foundation invites you to a conversation and book signing in honor of Hidden in Plain Sight: Selected Writings of Karin Higa (Dancing Foxes Press, 2022), edited by Julie Ault. The event will feature Ault in conversation with curator Howie Chen, followed by a Q&A and book signing. Copies of the book will be available for purchase on site.

Thursday, March 16, 2023 | 6:30 – 8:30 PM ET

In-person and online

59 East 4th St, 7W | New York, NY 10003

RSVP to Attend 

Edited by the renowned artist, curator, writer, and editor Julie Ault, Hidden in Plain Sight brings together essential writings by the art historian and curator Karin Higa (1966–2013). The selected essays, written between 1992 and 2011, focus on the creation of Japanese internment camps and the artistic production and communities that took root within them, as well as on the individual and collective narratives of Asian American artists in response to discriminatory immigration policies. While exploring issues of national identity and immigration, Higa recuperates significant artists and oeuvres from historical neglect and regards works by contemporary artists to examine how art acts as both a source for cultural identity and a transmitter of culture.

This book reveals how Higa’s conviction that art and the lived experience of the past are indissolubly linked was at the root of her methodological modeling of an Asian American art history. Moving between portrayals of milieux such as artists’ networks in the camps, Little Tokyo communities, and cities around the world—across ethnic, geographic, and stylistic boundaries—and case studies of oeuvres and biographies, she recovers vital art practices and hidden histories of creative struggle and efflorescence, in the process mapping individual practices, networks, and communal life, as fertile creative contexts. Higa shows how artists of Asian descent have moved past the divide between United States and their ancestral homes by using their freedom as artists to more broadly define their culture.

Julie Ault is an artist, curator, editor, and writer focused on mobilizing materials and information to animate histories of activism in art. Her projects include exhibitions, art writing, archiving and historical chronicles. Ault has edited, authored, and collaborated on over twenty publications; she is the editor of Hidden in Plain Sight: Selected Writings of Karin Higa (Dancing Foxes Press, 2022). Her recent exhibitions include Down the Rabbit Hole: JB in JT, James Benning exhibition arranged with Martin Beck in collaboration with O-Town House, Los Angeles (2020), and Paper Mirror: Nancy Spero at the Museo Tamayo, and MoMA PS1 (2018–19). Ault was a co-founder of the art collaborative Group Material, active from 1979 to 1996. She has been a MacArthur Fellow since 2018.

Howie Chen is the curator of 80 Washington Square East gallery at NYU. A founding director of Chen’s, a townhouse gallery in Brooklyn, he has held curatorial roles at the Whitney Museum of American Art and MoMA PS1. His writings have been published by Primary Information and Badlands Unlimited and have appeared in magazines such as Artforum, Frieze, and Art in America. With artist Mika Tajima, he formed New Humans, a moniker for collaborations with musicians, artists and designers. Chen is the editor of the anthology Godzilla: Asian American Arts Network 1990-2001 (Primary Information, 2021), and is on the faculty of the NYU Steinhardt School.