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University of Iowa News Release

Sept. 26, 2003

Artist-In-Residence Cozier To Present Public Events Oct. 8-16

Christopher Cozier, an artist-in-residence at the University of Iowa Museum of Art (UIMA), will present an artist's talk discussing his work at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 9, in Room E109 of the UI Art Building.

The artist's talk is one of several free public events for Cozier during his UI residency. He will present an open studio while completing the installation of two of his works 2-4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 11 in the UIMA. And later during his residency, he will present those two works, "Blue Soap" and "Sound System," to the public at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 16, in the UIMA.

Cozier will visit university classes and meet with UI art students during his residency, and he will participate in a free panel discussion on "Landscape and the Imagination" with writers from the UI International Writing Program at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 8, in the Iowa City Public Library.

A multi-media artist of Afro-Caribbean descent, Cozier will be in residence at the UIMA from Sept. 29 through Oct. 17.

In his Oct. 9 talk, Cozier will discuss his entire body of work. Cozier's works, including sound, video, live performances and installations, drawings, constructions and appropriated objects, explore cultural identity and displacement. His talk will focus on how his work is a mode of critical inquiry when looking at Caribbean society, with special reference to people who were born around the time of Trinidad's independence, as Cozier was.

Cozier says his talk will revolve around several important questions: How do we imagine? How do we see ourselves in relation to questions of nationality, ethnicity and development? And how are those questions confronted, not just internally, but internationally, as other societies are faced with similar questions?

"It was my intention to make two kinds of presentations there," Cozier said, "one about my own work and another about critical questions brought up around the region by a range of other practitioners whose work takes on similar concerns."

His Oct. 11 open studio will include putting the finishing touches on two of his works, "Blue Soap" and "Sound System."

"Blue Soap" is a four screen video installation depicting the cultural shifts occurring in Trinidad, and featuring a soundtrack with Cozier talking about his mixed Creole origins. "Sound System" features Cozier narrating pieces of text that have been included in his paintings over the years, organized into a rhythmic pattern based on calypso musical styles.

"With my work, I am always curious about the conversations it can initiate," Cozier said. "I do not see my work as making statements or pronouncements but as conversational. Presenting my work to yet another group of people it takes on new meanings and translations, that I have to figure and interpret and be informed by."

Born in Trinidad in 1959, Cozier studied at the J.S. Donaldson Technical Institute in Trinidad. After completing his National Certificate there, he earned his bachelor's degree in painting from the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore. Cozier studied for a while in Italy, and then returned to the United States to earn a master's degree at the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University.

Cozier's residency is sponsored by Iowa State Bank and Trust Company, and is presented in collaboration with the UI Caribbean, Diaspora and Atlantic Studies Program.

The UI Museum of Art, located on North Riverside Drive in Iowa City, is open noon to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, and noon to 10 p.m. Thursday and Friday. Admission is free. Public metered parking is available in UI parking lots west and north of the museum.

For more information on the UI Museum of Art visit on the World Wide Web. Information on other UI arts events is available at To receive UI arts news by e-mail,

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500.

CONTACT: Peter Alexander, 319-384-0072, WRITER: Amy Fenneman

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