Cross-Cultural Exhibit Explores The Human Face in Objects
(Berkeley, CA) January 11, 2018 — After the success of the inaugural show People Made These Things: Connecting WIth the Makers of Our World, the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology is preparing for a second exhibition in the newly renovated Gallery.
For this Spring 2018 exhibit, entitled Face to Face: Looking at Objects that Look at You, the Hearst staff and 14 UC Berkeley freshmen have co-curated a global selection of objects that depict human faces in different ways. The exhibit asks: Why and how do crafting traditions of the world so often incorporate human faces, and how do people respond to those faces? Objects such as West African helmet masks and Roman sculpture illustrate varying conceptions of the “ideal” face, while Japanese tobacco boxes and ancient Peruvian portrait jars raise the question of what a facial expression can mean. Additional objects, including Chinese bamboo figurines and Caroline Mytinger’s paintings of Papua New Guineans, represent the contrast between portraying faces of one’s own ethnic group versus those of another. Visitors are invited to examine the way they themselves depict and interpret faces in their everyday lives. This timely exhibit cultivates critical thinking about crucial issues such as stereotyping, representation and misrepresentation, and snap judgments.
Alongside the exhibit, the Hearst Museum will be continuing its monthly Lounge Lecture series. These lectures, hosted in the cozy Lounge of Anthropological Discoveries, will focus on topics related to the exhibit and give visitors the opportunity to learn and discuss in an intimate and casual space. Featured speakers include Ken Goldberg, who will speak about the history of “the uncanny”, and Paul Koudounaris, who will speak about global death and funerary practices. In addition to lectures, the Hearst will also be hosting a variety of hands-on and performance events ranging from caricature drawing workshops to Maori song and dance demonstrations.
“The opportunity to co-design this exhibit, along with interviewing experts and independently investigating these items gave me a deeper understanding of and appreciation for ancient Egyptian culture. It was such a privilege and eye-opening experience to work with the Hearst Museum.”
– Nika Esmailizadeh, UC Berkeley Class of 2021
“This exhibit is full of beautiful and fascinating objects. Inspired by UC Berkeley students and staff, it cultivates critical thinking about crucial issues related to cultural representation that are important for building an engaged global citizenry.”
– Richard (“Dick”) Greene, ’58; ’60; ’63 (L.L.B.); Trustee, UC Berkeley Foundation, 2006-present
“Continuing in the spirit of the last exhibit, it’s great to see the Hearst Museum again partner with Cal undergraduates to offer engaging public-facing projects that will be experienced by thousands of campus and community members. The experiential benefits to the students and the museum are immense.”
– Catherine P. Koshland, Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate Education at UC Berkeley
“In flipping the exhibit development process by inviting UC Berkeley students to become everyday curators of culture, it strikes me that the learning potential of this exhibit and similar projects is rich and compelling.”
– Randy H. Katz, UC Berkeley Vice Chancellor for Research,
“The new Face to Face exhibit is a bold offering that encourages the visitor to appreciate their role and potential to be a force for positive change. Because the Hearst Museum is a place where people from different cultures can connect meaningfully, I hope the visitor gets a sense of joy from the exhibit while reimagining the weight of their cultural gaze through the lenses of people around us.”
– Benjamin W. Porter, Hearst Museum Director
Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology Visitor Information
102 Kroeber Hall, Berkeley, CA 94720
Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Saturdays, 10 a.m, to 6 p.m.
$6 general admission
$3 non-UC Berkeley students, UC Berkeley alumni, 65+
Free for all UC Berkeley students, faculty, and staff; 18 & under
Information hearstmuseum.berkeley.edu (510) 643-1191
Lounge Lecture Series – Third Thursdays, 6-8pm
3/15: Ken Goldberg – Beyond the Uncanny Valley of the Dolls
4/19: Paul Koudounaris – Memento Mori: Lessons from a Decade Among the Dead 5/17: Gloria Nusse – Making Faces, Forensic Art and Facial identification 6/21: Kelly Baur – Screening of Weichanmu: Vamos a la Guerra
8/16: Sandra Sardjono – The Mythological Faces of Java
Hands On at the Hearst – Last Saturdays, 10am – 1pm 4/28: Māori Mo Ake Tonu – Māori Performance
5/26: Ernesto Olmos – Ocarina Making Workshop 6/30: Vanessa diTullio – Portrait Sculpture Workshop 7/28: Jon Casey – Caricature Drawing Workshop
Updated information about events is available at hearstmuseum.berkeley.edu/events