Other Side:
Art, Object, Self

What is the “other side”? Is it the same for everyone? This exhibition, featuring contemporary artworks from the Tang’s collection, offers many “other sides.” The artists in Other Side: Art, Object, Self explore the interconnections and elusive boundaries between concepts like life and death, seen and unseen, loss and hope, artifice and truth. They use objects, materials, and bodies in provocative ways to encourage viewers to assess preconceived notions and to prompt critical examinations of the self—of national, cultural, and personal identities.

Willie Cole displays a game of chess in which players—stand-ins for Yoruba deities—attempt to reach a spiritual realm and a side of greater understanding and acceptance. Yinka Shonibare MBE presents an other side of Oscar Wilde’s Dorian Gray character—he, a Nigerian-Englishman, plays the leading role, struggling between the sides of physical youth and beauty and inner moral corruption. In Tim Rollins and K.O.S.’s Winterreise (songs XX-XXIV) (after Schubert), the other side of loss and sadness becomes hope. In explorations of nationality and cultural exchange, sides are sometimes indistinct. The term suggests duality—I’m here, you’re there; this is right, that is wrong—but sides are never as clear-cut as we might imagine or wish them to be.

Humans, by nature, are faced with questions of self, and many of us spend our lives constructing our identities, changing them as we grow, as we experience life. Other Side offers space for contemplation as well as conversation—space to engage in dialogue with artworks and with other visitors—regarding what we see, feel, or think when looking at art. Importantly, this exhibition aims to stimulate thoughtful consideration of ideas and beliefs, seeking vital exchanges and mutual understandings.

The exhibition—featuring sculpture, photography, prints, painting, and fiber art—includes recent acquisitions of artwork that have never before been shown at the museum, including work by Willie Cole, Yinka Shonibare MBE, Jamal Cyrus, Flor Garduño, Tim Hawkinson, Michael Joo, and Miguel Aragón.

Anchor name: Willie Cole Video
Willie Cole on To get to the other side
Cole speaks about his large-scale sculpture To get to the other side, 2001, part of the Tang’s collection.
Exhibition Name
Other Side:
Art, Object, Self
Exhibition Type
Group Exhibitions
Wachenheim Gallery
Aug 12, 2017 - Jan 3, 2018
Other Side: Art, Object, Self is curated by Mellon Collections Curator Rebecca McNamara.
Miguel A. Aragón, Willie Cole, Jamal Cyrus, Flor Garduño, Tim Hawkinson, Michael Joo, Sally Mann, Yinka Shonibare MBE, Kate Ericson and Mel Ziegler, Zanele Muholi, Dario Robleto, Beverly Semmes, Lorna Simpson, Tim Rollins and K.O.S., Barthélémy Toguo, Fred Wilson
Student Staff
Kaitlyn Spina
Exhibitions Assistant, Collections Assistant
Rachel Rosenfeld
2017-18 Eleanor Linder Winter Endowed Intern, Student Advisory Council, Education Assistant for College and Public Programs
Rosa Desmond
Collections Assistant, Museum Intern
Sanjana Gothi
The Eleanor Linder Winter ’43 Endowed Intern, Student Advisory Council
Sophie heath 2019
Sophie Heath
Curatorial and Collections Assistant
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