Kira Lynn Harris
Jennie C. Jones
Douglas Ewat and
Douglas Irving Repetto
Sound and Light in Contemporary Art. The work of a new generation of artists who are working not only as an audiovisual landscape, but also as an interactive form. It will include recent works 16 artists. The exhibition will also feature select canonical works by 3 autors that place these 21st-century sound and light works in context with the history of the genre.
Sound and Light in Contemporary Art
curator of the exhibition: Cassel Oliver
2007-This spring, the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston will present Black Light/White Noise: Sound and Light in Contemporary Art, the first comprehensive review of contemporary black artists working with sound and light, building on a longstanding tradition of artistic experimentation through the work of 16 diverse artists. Organized by Contemporary Arts Museum curator Valerie Cassel Oliver, Black Light/White Noise will be on view in Houston from May 27 to August 5, 2007.
The Museum will also present Perspectives 156: Impulse, a biennial exhibition curated and organized by members of the Museum’s Teen Council. Guest juror Francesca Fuchs, the painter whose latest museum exhibition, Perspectives 155, precedes the Teen Council’s show in the Zilkha Gallery, will select the works from submissions by Houston-area high school students. Perspectives 156: Impulse will be on view from May 4 to July 8, 2007.
“The Contemporary Arts Museum Houston is dedicated to discovering and presenting the newest and most exciting contemporary art, running the gamut from experimental practices and critically-acclaimed artists to the reflections of younger generations and unexplored talent,” said Contemporary Arts Museum Houston director Marti Mayo. “These two exhibitions reinforce our commitment to leading the vanguard of visual culture, both at home and abroad.”
Black Light/White Noise presents the work of a new generation of artists who are working with sound and light not only as an audiovisual landscape, but also as an interactive form. It will include recent works by Sanford Biggers, Louis Cameron, Kianga Ford, Kira Lynn Harris, Sach Hoyt, Arthur Jafa, Jennie C. Jones, Yvette Mattern, Camille Norment, Kambui Olijimi, Karyn Olivier, Nadine Robinson, and SoundLab. The exhibition will also feature select canonical works by George Lewis (in collaboration with Douglas Ewat and Douglas Irving Repetto), Tom Lloyd, and Benjamin Patterson that place these 21st-century sound and light works in context with the history of the genre.
Artistic experimentation with “sons et lumières,” or sound and light, was first seen in the work of the Symbolists and Dadaists, who brought attention to the static but intangible nature of art, and later was used by Fluxus artists to inject time and performative aspects into their work. Their experimentations evolved into such contemporary disciplines as sound installation, kinetic sculpture, video installation, performance art, and interactive installation work. Black Light/White Noise will be the first exhibition to explore the contributions of black artists within the historical context of the sound and light aesthetic, blending them with the dynamics and sensibilities inherent in black art.
“As prolific as the use of sound and light in art has been over the past eighty years, we have rarely viewed this practice from a non-European perspective, and we know little about the many sound and light artists who come from diverse racial and cultural backgrounds,” said exhibition curator Valerie Cassel Oliver. “The expansion of the sound and light genre through a younger generation of black artists is remarkable, but has never been explored in depth. Black Light/White Noise reflects the innovation of these 16 artists working within this tradition.”
Recent works slated for the exhibition include Arthur Jafa’s My Black Death (2003-2006), an installation with modern jazz blasting forth from a Trans-Am in a darkened room; Sach Hoyt’s 8- Track Shack (2006), a six-foot-high structure housing the artist’s library of vintage 8-track cartridges; and Kianga Ford’s The Complex (2005), an arrangement of cozy plastic pods with listening stations offering readings of her original fiction. The exhibition will also feature Nadine Robinson’s Wormwood (2005), an installation of more than 500 light bulbs arranged to form a seven-pointed star; Karyn Olivier’s Whispering Domes (2004), featuring domed sculptural spaces that amplify and alter the voices of visitors; and Camille Norment’s Driftglass (2001-2004), a full-length mirror with audio that varies depending on viewers’ proximity to the piece.
Black Light/White Noise will be accompanied by a catalogue published by the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston reflecting the exhibition’s unconventional subject matter. The publication will include essays by Cassel Oliver, curator of the exhibition; Romi Crawford, director of education and public programs at the Studio Museum of Harlem; and Greg Tate, composer, musician, playwright, and contributor to The Village Voice. It will also contain extensive photographic and audio documentation on each light and sound installation, a DVD with reproductions of the nonstatic work, as well as biographical and bibliographical information on each artist.
Perspectives 156: Impulse
Concurrent with Black Light/White Noise, the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston will present Perspectives 156: Impulse, an exhibition curated by the Museum’s Teen Council. Every two years, the Teen Council plans a juried exhibition organized by its members for the Museum’s long-running Perspectives series. The members establish a theme, choose a guest juror and issue a call for entries to high school students throughout the Houston area.
Works will be selected by guest juror Francesca Fuchs, the Houston-based painter whose first solo museum exhibition, Perspectives 155, precedes the Teen Council’s show in the Zilkha Gallery. The Teen Council, working with Museum staff, will organize all aspects of the exhibition’s presentation—including the catalogue, installation, and education programs—under the supervision of Teen Council Coordinator Jason Kishell and Education Director Paula Newton.
Perspectives 156: Impulse will be on view from May 4 to July 8, 2007. It will be accompanied by a Perspectives-format catalogue with reproductions of exhibited work and statements by Fuchs, Teen Council members, and Museum staff.
A number of education programs for adults, families, and schools will accompany these exhibitions at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston. For more information on public programs, please call (713) 284-8257.
EXHIBITION FUNDING AND SUPPORT
Exhibitions presented in The Brown Foundation Gallery are supported by the patrons, benefactors, and donors to the Museum's Major Exhibition Fund: Major Patrons—Eddie and Chinhui Allen and Fayez Sarofim. Patrons—Mr. and Mrs. A. L. Ballard; George and Mary Josephine Hamman Foundation; Mr. and Mrs. I.H. Kempner III; Ms. Louisa Stude Sarofim; and Michael Zilkha. Benefactors—Jackson Hicks/Jackson and Company; Elizabeth Howard; Rob and Louise Jamail; King & Spalding L.L.P.; Leigh and Reggie Smith; Susan Vaughan Foundation; Vitol Inc.; and Mr. and Mrs. Wallace S. Wilson. Donors—Baker Botts L.L.P.; Robert J. Card, M.D./Karol Kreymer; Isabel Stude Lummis; Judy and Scott Nyquist; KPMG LLP; Karen and Eric Pulaski; David I. Saperstein; Karen and Harry Susman; and Stephen and Ellen Susman; and Joan Holt and J. Roger Wich Foundation.
Perspectives exhibitions are made possible by a major grant from Fayez Sarofim; The Studio, the young professionals group of the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston; and by donors to the Museum’s Perspectives Fund: Toni and Jeffery Beauchamp; Bernstein Global Wealth Management; Suzette and Darrell Betts; Sanford and Susie Criner; Heidi and David Gerger; Marley Lott; Apama Mackey; Jeff Mackey; Belinda Phelps and Randy Howard; Beverly and Howard Robinson; and William F. Stern. Catalogues accompanying Perspectives exhibitions are made possible by a grant from The Brown Foundation, Inc.
The Museum’s operations and programs are made possible through the generosity of the Museum’s trustees, patrons, members, and donors to its programs. The Contemporary Arts Museum Houston receives partial operating support from the Houston Endowment, Inc., the City of Houston through the Houston Museum District Association, and the Texas Commission on the Arts.
The Artphone, a random access, handheld, lightweight audio device with interpretive information about all Museum exhibitions is available at the Information Desk, and is free of charge to all visitors. The Artphone is supported in part by Will Golden.
Continental is the official airline of the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston.
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