To celebrate the extension of our online virtual exhibition Conversations with A Shipwreck, now on view through September 7, ASF and the Vasa Museum are pleased to present a conversation between the artists Joan Wickersham and Adam Davies, with Fred Hocker, the Vasa Museum’s Director of Research. Thanks to the support of an ASF travel grant Joan and Adam were able to spend a full month in Stockholm working with the Vasa Museum. During this time, Adam and Joan worked closely with Dr. Hocker and his team, immersing themselves in the museum, which inspired new creative approaches toward the ship’s story and historic legacy.
Dr. Hocker will discuss three topics of interest to many museumgoers: why the ship sank; the museum site location on a drydock; as well as the preservation of the ship and its contents. The artists and Dr. Hocker will also discuss their time spent together at the museum, relating these experiences to the artistic output and body of work that became Conversations with A Shipwreck.
Since opening on March 4, Conversations with a Shipwreck has been acclaimed as an exhibition where “The viewer listens to [Wickersham’s] words and sees the haunting, atmospheric images of boat skeleton, its architecture and intricate carvings, the ghostly atmosphere of something — and someones — lost and found again,” (Nina Maclaughlin, Boston Globe).
The event will take place as a Zoom webinar, and will begin with a video presentation with Wickersham and Davies followed by a moderated discussion and a live audience Q&A. Registration is required; sign up at the link above.
About the Speakers
Adam Davies is a recipient of grants from the American-Scandinavian Foundation, the Vira Heinz Endowment, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, and has attended residencies at Chinati Foundation, Creative Alliance, Fine Arts Work Center, and Yaddo. He has worked as a Lecturer & Media Specialist at the National Gallery of Art, Washington and taught at Carnegie Mellon, Catholic, Robert Morris, and Harvard Universities. In 2015, Adam was named as Outstanding Emerging Artist at the DC Mayor’s Arts Awards and was the recipient of the Clarence John Laughlin Award. Between 2016–19, he was an artist-in-residence at Creative Alliance in Baltimore where his 2018 exhibition featured collaborations with Los Angeles-based musician Alex Zhang Hungtai and Chicago-based percussionist Adam Rosenblatt. In 2019 he presented his project, Reroutings, at the Mid-Atlantic TED Talk in Washington, DC.
Fred Hocker is a historian and has a PhD in anthropology. Doctor Hocker has a vast experience from a long series of marine archeological excavations in the USA, Northern Europe and the Mediterranean. Since 2003, he has been the Director of Research at The Vasa Museum.
Joan Wickersham’s memoir The Suicide Index (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) was a National Book Award finalist, and appeared on “best books of the year” lists including The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The Cleveland Plain Dealer, New York Magazine, Salon, and The Week. Her most recent book, The News from Spain (Knopf) was named one of the year’s best fiction picks by National Public Radio, Kirkus Reviews, and The San Francisco Chronicle. Her fiction has appeared multiple times in The Best American Short Stories and The Best American Nonrequired Reading, as well as many other publications. For the past ten years, Joan has been a regular op-ed columnist for The Boston Globe. She has been awarded fellowships by the American-Scandinavian Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, MacDowell, and Yaddo. Joan graduated from Yale with a degree in art history and has taught fiction and memoir at Harvard, Emerson, UMass Boston, and the Bennington Writing Seminars.