On September 20th, FSU Art Assistant Professor Jeff Beekman will be giving a public artist talk at the Air Force Academy’s Polaris Hall, in support of his solo exhibition If Their Lungs Receive Our Air, currently on display in the Academy’s Permanent Professor’s Gallery. In this ongoing series, Beekman documents largely unmemorialized sites of Black heroism from the Antebellum and Civil War era South. One of the most deeply engrained acts of revisionism that finds broad acceptance across the political spectrum is that the Civil War was essentially a white-on-white conflict. This work attempts to address this whitewashing of history, provide visibility to Black contributions, and explore the mechanisms that have been used to suppress a history of courageous service and armed resistance.
On September 21st, Beekman is giving a public interview at the international War, Literature & the Arts Conference, in support of his exhibition Battlefield Project. On display for the duration of the conference, in this earlier series Beekman investigates memorialized U.S. Civil War battlefields sites, how these have evolved from the blood-soaked fields where often thousands died over the course of a few hours to the pristine landscapes they are today. This year’s conference theme is “Representing and Remembering War.” Coming from both critical and creative disciplines, participants have been selected for their ability to illuminate, challenge, deconstruct, engage with, and support not simply the ‘official’ representations of wars, but the multiplicity of perspective that merit a more nuanced or sophisticated intellectual exploration. The event features as keynote speakers Pulitzer Prize winning author and FSU professor Robert Owen Butler and Guggenheim, MacArthur, and Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks.