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Modern mandala talks will meld art and philosophies

Jacquelynn Baas, author, curator and scholar, will present a lecture on "The Modern Mandala" on Thursday, March 1 at 7:30 p.m., in the Reception Hall of the Michael C. Carlos Museum. She will discuss the work of artist Marcel Duchamp as context for the development of the contemporary Western mandala form, examples of which are currently on view in the Emory Visual Arts Gallery exhibition, "Contemporary Mandala: New Audiences, New Forms."

Baas researches, writes and lectures about the many ways artists working in the United States and Europe use Asian philosophy as a resource. She is the author of "Smile of the Buddha: Eastern Philosophy and Western Art from Monet to Today" (University of California Press, 2005) and co-editor of "Buddha Mind in Contemporary Art" (University of California Press, 2004), which documents a growing presence of Buddhist perspectives in contemporary culture.

The centerpiece of the "Contemporary Mandala" exhibit is a dynamic performance space for visitors to interact with the mandala. Sanford Biggers, the artist who created the "Mandala of the B-Bodhisattva II" floorpiece, will give an artist talk on Wednesday, March 21. Co-sponsored by Emory's Visual Arts Department and ART PAPERS LIVE!, the artist talk will be at 7:30 p.m. in the Oxford Presentation Auditorium. Breakdancing and step performances by Emory students will kick off the evening at 6 p.m. in the Visual Arts Building, on Biggers' floorpiece.

Biggers uses the study of ethnological objects, popular icons and the Dadaist tradition to explore cultural and creative syncretism, art history and politics. An accomplished musician, he often incorporates a variety of expressive elements into his sculptures and installations. His installations, videos and performances have appeared in venues worldwide. Biggers, a Morehouse College alumnus, has won numerous awards and fellowships and is currently an assistant professor at Columbia University in its visual arts program.

Both lectures are free and open to the public. For event details, visit

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