Precarious Memory: Artists Respond to War

April 2, 2020 - April 30, 2020

“They carried the sky. The whole atmosphere, they carried it, the humidity, the monsoons, the stink of fungus and decay, all of it, they carried gravity.” – Tim O’Brien, The Things They Carried

Sponsored by the NEA Big Read and inspired by Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried (1990) — a classic work of American literature and ground-breaking meditation on the Vietnam War — Precarious Memory: Artists Respond to War features artists that engage with the themes of war. Whether veteran, journalist, emigree, or observer, each artist reflects on the precarity of the human experience and the ubiquity of armed conflict in the modern world.

Due to social distancing measures, the UCF Art Gallery will be closed as long as the university is not offering face-to-face instruction and the Precarious Memory: Artists Respond to War exhibition has moved to the following virtual programming: 

Kevin Haran • Thursday, April 2, noon-1 p.m. EDT


Kevin Haran is Associate Professor of Art and Jenkins Distinguished Scholar in Community Arts at the University of Central Florida. UCF. His work has been included in over seventy national and International juried exhibitions and is in the collections of the Army Art Collection in Washington, DC and the National World War II Museum in New Orleans, as well as the Columbus Museum, Edinburgh College of Art, and Cornell Fine Arts Museum. Haran will discuss the process and meaning of his drawings, paintings and sculpture that comment on subject of war.

Jave Yoshimoto • Thursday, April 9, 2 p.m.-3 p.m. EDT


Jave Yoshimoto is Foundations Coordinator and Assistant Professor of Art at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Yoshimoto has served as an artist-in-residence at Art Farm Nebraska, The Art Students’ League of New York, Vermont Studio Center, Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the arts, Jentel Foundation, Teton Artlab, and as a fellow at Union Center for Contemporary Art and Tulsa Artist Fellowship. Yoshimoto’s laser-cut wood relief sculptures and monumental paintings address the “social amnesia of the information age” and ask audiences to see themselves in the faces of those displaced by war and disaster.

Bruno Cabanes • Thursday, April 16


Bruno Cabanes is the Donald G. & Mary A. Dunn Chair in Modern Military History at The Ohio State University. He studied history at the Ecole normale supérieure, in Paris, and received his Ph.D., with distinction, from the Université Paris I- Panthéon Sorbonne, and his Habilitation à Diriger des Recherches, from the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales. Professor Cabanes is a historian of twentieth-century Europe, and more specifically, the social and cultural history of war. He is particularly interested in the period of transition that followed World War I. He has analyzed this topic from a variety of angles: the demobilization of combat troops, the traumatic impact of war on soldiers and civilians, a comparative study of the different post-war periods in the twentieth century, and, more recently, the environmental history of war and its aftermath.

Darcy Parker Bruce • Thursday, April 23, noon-1 p.m. EDT


Darcy Parker Bruce is a playwright and educator from New Haven, CT, and a graduate of the MFA Playwriting program at Smith College. They’re currently part of the faculty at several Connecticut Colleges, where they teach Playwriting and Theater Activism. Darcy was the recipient of a 2017 Tennessee Williams Scholarship through the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and was granted ATHE’s 2018 Judith Royer Award For Excellence in Theater, which brought new play SOLDIER POET to Boston.

Sisavanh Phouthavong • Thursday, April 30, 2 p.m.-3 p.m EDT


Sisavanh Phouthavong is Professor of Painting in the Department of Art and Design at Middle Tennessee State University. Her work has been included in numerous international exhibitions and is in the permanent collection of the Hunter Museum of American Art in Chattanooga and the American Embassy in Paramaribo, Suriname. Phouthavong’s work seeks to raise awareness of the history of the American bombing of Laos and to advocate for the clearance of unexploded bombs. From 1964 to 1973, the U.S. dropped more than two million tons of ordnance on Laos during 580,000 bombing missions — equal to a planeload of bombs every eight minutes, twenty-four-hours a day, for nine years — making Laos the most heavily bombed country per capita in history.

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