Harvard Yard

When: September, 2018
Where: Cambridge, MA, USA
Institution: Harvard Yard, Harvard University
Facilitator: Doris Sommer


Autumn (… Nothing Personal) was a public sculpture by artist Teresita Fernández on view from August 27 to October 1, 2018. Commissioned by the Harvard University Committee on the Arts, the installation was both a physical site and a space for public dialogue and performance.


The installation was designed to be a space of aesthetic exploration and collaborative interactions. What better way to bring people together than to play with the site and the text with Pre-Texts! Through September 2018, the Harvard University Committee on the Arts and the Harvard Art Museums invited the Cultural Agents Initiative to facilitate Pre-Texts workshops to creatively read and interpret James Baldwin’s “Nothing Personal.” For two hours every Friday of September, approximately 30 participants (students, professors, and researchers from across Harvard and professionals artists, environmentalists, and more) gathered at the Autumn (..Nothing Personal) installation to read, make art from, act, interpret, set music to, and question excerpts from the text.


I knew before and I do confirm now that every approach to one text might be different, and everyone is valuable because each one reflects a diverse perspective. In general, that reminds us that diversity is the rule beyond assessing whether an interpretation is right or wrong.

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