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The Vault: Lorna Simpson

Sept. 1 – Oct. 4, 2020

The Vault

Lorna Simpson, <i>Cure/Heal</i>, from the portfolio <i>"10: Artist as Catalyst"</i>, 1992. MSU purchase, funded by the Office of the Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies.

Lorna Simpson, Cure/Heal, from the portfolio "10: Artist as Catalyst", 1992. MSU purchase, funded by the Office of the Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies.

This work was selected by Tyana Robinson (class of 2021), who explains: “At first glance, I enjoyed the ambiguous nature of this photograph. It made me start thinking of the possible narratives, and that ultimately made me curious. I was familiar with the imagery, yet I was not aware of what the story entailed. I believe Lorna Simpson elevates objects to thinking tools, and the high heels in Cure/Heal are a representation of stereotypes, showing how our assumptions are built from our personal experiences and social norms. In a way, I feel that her work is a reflection of the world, which also gives viewers the opportunity to interpret it based on their beliefs. As the photograph Cure/Heal is fairly abstracted, what thoughts and opinions come to mind when viewing it?” 

The Vault

The Vault, which also houses some of the works from our permanent collection, is dedicated to featuring and displaying works chosen by MSU students who work at the museum. Each month, one of our student gallery guides selects a piece from our collection and writes a short text explaining why they chose it and believe it should be displayed. By providing our gallery guides with an opportunity to participate in the curatorial process of selection and display, we aim to open a dialogue with the student community while simultaneously sharing with the public works from the collection that would otherwise remain in storage.