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Communications and Marketing

Davis Schneiderman leads team of writers for Museum of Alternative History

Dean of Faculty and Professor of English Davis Schneiderman contributed to the Museum of Alternative History’s Reality exhibit at the Kaneko gallery in Omaha, Nebraska.

Curated by artist and museum director Tim Guthrie, the multi-media exhibit Reality challenges ideas of what “reality” actually is. Guthrie also created the Museum of Alternative History, in which history is explored in non-traditional ways. While Guthrie creates unusual objects that resemble real historical artifacts, writers like Schneiderman contribute realistic stories to tell the story behind these pieces.

“It was wonderfully generative,” Schneiderman said about leading a team of writers for the exhibit. “Collaboration is the key to creative activity. Art is made with the collaborative materials of culture, so all art is already a collaboration between the artist and the world. Working directly with others simply makes this explicit, and leads to exciting new combinations.”

The Kaneko gallery, where the exhibit is located, has a mission to encourage and explore creativity, which is exactly what Reality offers. The exhibit explores reality through art, science, and technology, attracting visitors to experience forms of reality in different ways.

Jun Kaneko, a Japanese artist, studied painting in Japan and came to the United States in 1963 where his studies led him to take interest in sculptural ceramics. He eventually taught at some of the nation’s leading art schools.

What’s just as important as the art is explaining what it means, and that’s where Schneiderman and his team come in. While everyone has their own interpretation of the art, Schneiderman and others were able to brainstorm and create stories for each piece. “I don’t think of writing as a job, because I would probably then not enjoy it as much as I do,” Schneiderman said. “As to differences, every project created the conditions of its own experience in ways not easy to articulate. There’s a mystery to writing that has nothing to do with the process of writing—that’s explainable—but everything to do with the mysteries of living.”

The Museum of Alternative History exhibit will continue to be hosted by Kaneko through September 26, 2018. Its location is 1111 Jones Street, in Omaha, Nebraska and is open Tuesdays–Fridays from noon to 8 p.m. and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free to the public.

—Sangjun Hornewer ’20