The Day the Earth Stood Still

Exhibition by Abigail DeVille
Image courtesy of Abigail DeVilleImage courtesy of Abigail DeVille

This exhibition is in the Johnson-Kulukundis Family Gallery of Byerly Hall at 8 Garden Street, Radcliffe Yard, Cambridge, MA 02138.

There will be a fellow’s presentation by Abigail DeVille at 4 p.m. at the Knafel Center on Thursday, January 29, followed by the exhibition opening at 5:30 p.m.

From January 30 through February 24, the exhibition will be open on weekdays from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Artist Abigail DeVille has exhibited site-specific installations and sculptures across the United States and Europe. DeVille attended Pratt Institute and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and earned a BFA from the Fashion Institute of Technology and an MFA from Yale University. In addition to the Radcliffe Institute fellowship, she has been awarded residencies at the International Studio & Curatorial Program, in Brooklyn, and the Studio Museum in Harlem.

DeVille’s installation is inspired by the 2015 Massachusetts Institute of Technology Independent Activity Period production The Day the Earth Stood Still, an adaptation of the 1951 film of the same name. The February 2015 production is directed by the assistant professor Charlotte Brathwaite and created in collaboration with students of MIT.

In the production, “peaceful outer space visitors land on Earth and are greeted by a barrage of bullets.” The story “asks us to look at our exploding world and examine our own humanity in its midst. Through collected texts, stories, media images, sounds, and choreographed bodies, The Day the Earth Stood Still reflects on the world we live in and prompts us to imagine the world as we would truthfully like it to be.”

DeVille’s thoughts for the exhibition were also shaped by the following quotation from the production script:

“You the people of Earth have reached the danger point in your development. We can no longer merely watch. That is whey I am here, to bring you my message of warning. Your hunting-killing instincts must be controlled. If not, your next step inevitably will be to travel beyond your own solar system and try to conquer peaceable worlds which have no defense against you . . . I have lived among you. I have eaten of your food. I have walked your streets. I have seen where your poor live and your rich. I have met people who are good and kind. You have many good people among you, you must use them as examples. My friends, your choice is simple. Live in peace. Or pursue your present course—and face obliteration. We will be waiting for your answer. It is up to you. We will be watching . . . and waiting . . .  “

The Day the Earth Stood Still, directed by Charlotte Brathwaite