READING & BOOKSIGNING: Basia Irland with Lucy Lippard

Basia Irland: Reading from READING THE RIVER

Introduction by author and cultural critic Lucy Lippard 

516 ARTS welcomes internationally acclaimed artist Basia Irland for a special reading and discussion in the gallery from her new book Reading the River: The Ecological Activist Art of Basia Irland published by the Museum De Domijnen, the Netherlands (2017). The book explores international rivers in Ethiopia, Nepal, India, Cambodia, Thailand, Egypt, Japan, Europe, Canada, Mexico and across the United States, where the artist has created participatory, collaborative, community-based water projects. The event features Irland in conversation with cultural critic and author Lucy Lippard, who writes, “Irland is an inveterate traveler, ready to continue to follow rivers around the globe, while also tracking water harvesting projects, waterborne diseases, and watershed health. Just as rivers connect people, so does she, always working with local collaborators as she takes us below the deceptively pretty surfaces, into the darker depths.” Special guest poet Miriam Sagan will also read in response to Irland’s work.

Basia Irland at Rio Grande3Fulbright Scholar Basia Irland is an author, poet, sculptor, installation artist and activist who creates international water projects, featured in the two books Water Library (2007) and Reading the River: The Ecological Activist Art of Basia Irland (2017). She works with scholars from diverse disciplines building rainwater harvesting systems; connecting communities and fostering dialogue along the entire length of rivers; filming and producing water documentaries; sculpting hand-carved ice books embedded with native riparian seeds for river restoration projects; and creating waterborne disease projects around the world. She blogs for National Geographic about international rivers, written in the first person from the perspective of the river. Irland lectures and exhibits extensively. She had a major retrospective in the Netherlands, 2016.

Lippard LRLucy Lippard is a writer, activist and sometime curator. Since 1966, she has published 24 books on contemporary art and cultural studies, including Mixed Blessings: New Art in a Multicultural America (1990), The Lure of the Local: Senses of Place in a Multicentered Society (1997), Down Country: the Tano of the Galisteo Basin 1250-1782 (2010), and most recently, Undermining: A Wild Ride through Land Use, Politics, and Art in the Changing West (2014). She has been co-founder of various artists’ groups including Printed Matter, Political Art Documentation/Distribution (PAD/D), Artists Call Against U.S. Intervention in Central America, and the guerrilla performance groups Outside Agitators and Damage Control. She has received grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Lannan Foundation, and Creative Capital, various awards, and nine honorary doctorates in fine arts.


516 WORDS Miriam SaganMiriam Sagan is a poet, memoirist, and teacher. She founded an directs the Creative Writing program at Santa Fe Community College, and is the author of 25 books including Greatest Hits with Renée Gregorio and Joan Logghe (Tres Chicas Books, 2011 winner of New Mexico Book Award).

Image: Basia Irland, Fetching water from the Narmadā River at dawn, photograph