at home: Opening Program | Art in Focus: The Provocation of Conditions

June 30, 2021

Join us for an online conversation with two of the Center's student guides, Merritt Barnwell (SY 2022) and Adam Chen (TD 2022), as they discuss the exhibition Art in Focus: The Provocation of Conditions. This program is moderated by Linda Friedlaender, Head of Education at the Center.

About the exhibition

The Center’s first exhibition presented exclusively online, Art in Focus: The Provocation of Conditions showcases four short films spanning four decades of experimental British filmmaking. Each film is a response, and a form of resistance, to different conditions, real and imagined, of their time. Distinct in subject and style, the films evoke our contemporary moment in relation to political unrest, civic protest, and enforced isolation. They explore the relationship between sound and image and push the boundaries between film poetry, documentary, and the claim to narrative truth. 

Margaret Tait’s Colour Poems (1974) is a nine-part elegy to her native Scottish archipelago of Orkney, beginning with the repercussions of the Spanish Civil War. Lis Rhodes’s Orifso (1999) takes the form of a historical fable, using archival and cartographical research to interrogate structures of power and surveillance in France and London between 1942 and 1998. Ori Gersht’s The Forest (2005) is a personal meditation on the reverberations and afterimages of the Holocaust. Finally, John Akomfrah and Trevor Mathison’s Numen (2014) is a fictional journey of postapocalyptic survival.

All four films were on view exclusively on the Center's website from June 21 through August 23, 2021.


Art in Focus is the annual exhibition curated by members of the Center’s Student Guide Program. The project introduces Yale undergraduates to museology by providing them with curatorial experience. The student curators for The Provocation of Conditions are Merritt Barnwell (SY 2022) and Adam Chen (TD 2022). In researching and presenting the exhibition, the students were led at the Center by Linda Friedlaender, Head of Education, and Indie A. Choudhury, Postgraduate Associate in the Research department.

The online exhibition and related programs were generously supported by the Marlene Burston Fund and the Dr. Carolyn M. Kaelin Memorial Fund.