Exhibition: Matthew Buckingham: ‘The Spirit and the Letter’

Posted in exhibitions by Amanda Strasik on September 18, 2011

From the Brooklyn Museum:

Matthew Buckingham: The Spirit and the Letter
Brooklyn Museum, 3 September 2011 — 8 January 2012

Curated by Elizabeth Sackler

Matthew Buckingham, Still from "The Spirit and the Letter," 2007, continuous video projection with sound, electrified chandelier, mirror.

Matthew Buckingham’s installation The Spirit and the Letter is an homage to Mary Wollstonecraft, the eighteenth-century writer and philosopher. Comprised of a video projection and sculptural components,  Buckingham’s work questions the role that social memory and historical representation play in contemporary life, encouraging viewers to question how they hear and see what is most familiar to them. Excerpts from Wollstonecraft’s writing, compiled and edited by Buckingham, are spoken as a monologue in the video. The text is primarily drawn from  Wollstonecraft’s important A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, in which she passionately asserted the equality of the sexes and demonstrated through her own intellectual rigor that women are not inferior to men. The essay, the earliest known treatise on the subject, has been viewed as the foundation of the modern women’s rights movements in the Western world.

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