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Event: Artist Talk About Looking: Bethany Collins and Sampada Aranke

On a white wall, a single piece of crumpled and torn red paper.
Information Wanted 1893. Image courtesy the artist and PATRON Gallery, Chicago. Photography by Evan Jenkins.


October 07, 2021


5:00–6:30 pm


Virtual Via Zoom


Reserve tickets here.

Looking, always reading and touching intentionally. Artist Bethany Collins discusses her text-based practice with scholar Sampada Aranke. 

Bethany Collins uses language as the primary subject and material for her work. Together with Aranke, the two will speak on the intersection of race, language, labor, and interpretation as related to Collins’s practice.

This program is free and closed captioning will be available. 


Bethany Collins (b. 1984 Montgomery, AL) lives and works in Chicago, IL. Collins received an MFA from Georgia State University in Atlanta, GA and a BA from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Upcoming and recent solo museum exhibitions include presentations at the Frist Art Museum, Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, CAM St. Louis, The University of Kentucky Art Museum and the Art Institute of Chicago. Upcoming and recent group exhibitions include presentations at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Speed Art Museum, Zimmerli Art Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, The Renaissance Society, Peabody Essex Museum, Seattle Art Museum, The Phillips Collection and the Smart Museum, among many others. Her work is included in the public collections of the Birmingham Museum of Art, Block Museum of Art, Morgan Library & Museum, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts Museum, Art Institute of Chicago, Peabody Essex Museum, The Smart Museum of Art, The Studio Museum in Harlem, Davidson College, University of Chicago, University of Virginia Special Collections Library and Yale University Library. Collins has received numerous awards including: Artadia Award: Chicago; Public Humanities Practitioner-in-Residence at Davidson College; Artist Fellowship Award, Illinois Arts Council Agency; The Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant, and the Hudgens Prize. Collins was also an artist residence at The MacDowell Colony and the Studio Museum in Harlem. 


Sampada Aranke (PhD, Performance Studies) is an Assistant Professor in the Art History, Theory, Criticism Department at the School of the Art Institute, Chicago. Her research interests include performance theories of embodiment, visual culture, and black cultural and aesthetic theory. Her work has been published in e-flux, Artforum, Art Journal, ASAP/J, October, and Trans-Scripts: An Interdisciplinary Online Journal in the Humanities and Social Sciences at UC Irvine. She has written catalogue essays for Sadie Barnette, Rashid Johnson, Faith Ringgold, Kambui Olujimi, Sable Elyse Smith, and Zachary Fabri. She is the recipient of the 2021 Art Journal award for her article Blackouts and Other Visual Escapes. She’s currently working on her book manuscript entitled Death’s Futurity: The Visual Life of Black Power.


Suggested Reading:

Margaret Carrigan. “O Say Can You See, What 100 Versions of The Star-Spangled Banner Reveal about America.” The Art Newspaper, May 26, 2021.

Sampada Aranke. “Blackouts and Other Visual Escapes.Art Journal, vol. 79, no. 4, October, 2020.

Susan Sontag. “Against Interpretation.” New York: Octagon Books, 1978.

Sampada Aranke. “Material Matters: Black Radical Aesthetics and the Limits of Visibility.” e-flux, February 2017.

Stephanie Cash. “30 Under 30: ARTIST BETHANY Collins Explores Race and Identity through a Personal Lens.” ARTSATL, December 5, 2019.

Chelsea Werner-Jatzke. “The Contemporary American Struggle: Bethany Collins.” SAMBlog, April 14, 2021. 

Temptestt Hazel. “Sampada Aranke on Care, Black Visual Culture, and the Radicalized Body.” Sixty Inches From Center, December 1, 2020. 

Sampada Aranke. “Bag Lady in Flight.” ASAP/Journal, August 27, 2020.