Coffee & Conversation: Aesthetic of the Cool
Yara and the Camera in Milford Graves: A Mind-Body Deal
Sunday, November 15, 2020
3:00 PM
  • Talks

Get Directions

Program Info

Free with registration
All Ages

Sponsored by

Major support for Milford Graves: A Mind-Body Deal provided by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, with additional support from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and the Joseph Robert Foundation.

Presented by

Milford Graves: A Mind-Body Deal, organized and presented by Ars Nova Workshop and Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania (ICA).

Milford Graves has amassed an extraordinary archive of video recordings and photographs–only a small portion of which are featured in Milford Graves: A Mind-Body Deal. Blending different forms of martial arts and West African dance, in the 1970s Graves created his own martial artform called Yara, a Yoruba word meaning “nimble” or “flexible.” This unique form of movement embodies the spirit of improvisation, discovery, and collaboration reflected in all aspects of his life.

Join University of Pennsylvania graduate students Tyler Shine and Amrita Stützle for a discussion of Milford Graves’s distinctive archival practice, how the camera functions in his work, and the expressive gestures of Yara.

All are welcome to participate in the conversation.


Tyler Shine is a doctoral student in Art History studying twentieth-century art and architecture with particular interest in the African diaspora. He studied Art History at the University of Pittsburgh (BA) and the University of Maryland, College Park (MA). Before coming to Penn, he was the Constance E. Clayton Fellow in the Department of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Previously, he worked at The Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C. and the Carnegie Museum of Art.

Amrita Stützle is an Austrian born artist and educator with a focus in lens-based media. Her practice dissects contemporary and historical aspects of her identity, exploring themes of femininity, labor, and power. She was a 2019 Magenta Foundation top 100 Emerging Photographers winner, a participant of the 2018 NY Times Portfolio Review, and a fellow in the Saltonstall Artist-in-Residence program. Amrita received her BFA in Art Photography from Syracuse University and is currently pursuing her MFA at the University of Pennsylvania.

Coffee & Conversation

Coffee & Conversation programs are discussions led by graduate students from the University of Pennsylvania’s History of Art and Weitzman School of Design departments. For the fall 2020 exhibition season, this iteration will involve the students working in tandem. Through their unique perspectives as practitioners and researchers, they offer different approaches to consider the various facets that go into the formation of an exhibition and the artist’s process, creating entry points along the way for the audience to be involved in the conversation on a personal level.

Cover: Milford Graves, Yara in the Dojo, 1992. Courtesy of the artist.