About Academia: A Conversation with Muntadas
March 8, 2011
A conversation with Antoni Muntadas, curator José Falconi, and Tom Cummins,
chair of the Department of History of Art and Architecture at Harvard University
Opening reception for the exhibition MUNTADAS: ABOUT ACADEMIA to follow
The three-channel video installation ABOUT ACADEMIA addresses the problematic relationship between the production of knowledge and economic power.
During ABOUT ACADEMIA's three-year development, Antoni Muntadas researched the history of “academia” as an institution in the Western world, tracing its historical development from its inception in ancient Greece to its scholastic rebirth in medieval times, its re-foundation during the Enlightenment, its establishment in the New World, to its present challenges. He also interviewed a dozen renowned faculty members at Harvard, MIT and other research universities across the United States. Participants include Carol Becker, Noam Chomsky, John Coatsworth, Fernando Coronil, Thomas Cummins, Bradley Epps, David Harvey, Ute Meta Bauer, Doris Sommer, Mark Wigley, and Howard Zinn, among others.
Confronting the viewer with some of the most pressing questions concerning the supposed objectivity of academic knowledge by pointing out the corporatization of institutions of higher learning in the United States, ABOUT ACADEMIA reminds us of the sometimes controversial positions that universities find themselves in when trying to physically expand amidst disenfranchised communities, as well as the contradictions often experienced with university donor agendas.