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Nasher Goes Young For Next XChange Commission

by Stephen Becker 28 Jul 2013 10:37 AM

The museum will partner with area hospitals to build a sound sculpture capturing newborns’ first cries.


The Nasher Sculpture Center has announced the fifth commission that will be part of its Nasher XChange program, and it’s the first one that will actually be experienced at the Nasher.

Alfredo Jaar will construct a pavilion in the Nasher garden. Inside, visitors will be treated to the first cries of babies being born at Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas, Methodist Dallas Medical Center and Parkland Health & Hospital System.

“These babies will enter the museum at the earliest age possible, almost immediately out of their mothers’ womb. They will come not as visitors, but as active participants – as artists and performers themselves,” Jaar says in a news release.

Participating families will receive a one-year membership to the Nasher, while the cryin’ kiddos will get in free for life.

Details on the previous commissions are on Art&Seek; Keep reading for the news release:

DALLAS, Texas (July 28 ,2013) — The Nasher Sculpture Center is pleased to reveal the plans for a newly commissioned sculpture by artist Alfredo Jaar, which will be created in collaboration with Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas, Methodist Dallas Medical Center and Parkland Health & Hospital System.  The work is one of ten commissions for the Nasher’s 10th anniversary, city-wide exhibition Nasher XChange. The sculpture will be on view at the Nasher Sculpture Center during Nasher XChange from October 19, 2013 through February 16, 2014.

Jaar’s project, Music (Everything I know I learned the day my son was born), is inspired by what it means for a museum to celebrate an anniversary: what does it mean to be born, grow, and then reflect back on ten years of life? Most importantly, how can an institution like the Nasher Sculpture Center acknowledge the community it is a part of? Instead of reflecting on important institutional moments, Jaar intends to celebrate the birthdays of the city’s newest citizens and the limitless possibilities of their futures. Inside a pavilion designed by Jaar and located in the Nasher garden, visitors will hear recordings of the first cries of babies born in Dallas between October 1, 2013 and February 1, 2014.

“These babies will enter the museum at the earliest age possible, almost immediately out of their mothers’ womb.  They will come not as visitors, but as active participants – as artists and performers themselves” said Alfredo Jaar.

In collaboration with Baylor, Methodist Dallas and Parkland hospitals, the sounds of the first few seconds of life will be recorded and uploaded in the pavilion. Throughout the duration of the exhibition, the time-stamped recordings will repeat and new recordings will be added. The unpredictable timing and diversity of voices within the space will create a concert, a symphony of
voices that will serve as simple, yet profound reminders of an ever-growing Dallas. By presenting the music of the first moments of life inside the pavilion, Jaar offers a space at the Nasher Sculpture Center where the newest voices of the city can be heard, engendering a sense of belonging and reciprocity between a cultural institution and its community.

For the hundreds of families who choose to become a part of this artwork, the Nasher Sculpture Center will provide special memberships to the museum – a one-year Giacometti Level Membership for the participating families and the first ever Lifetime Membership for the babies. Expectant mothers who are scheduled to give birth during this four month period at one of the three participating hospitals can obtain information about participating in the project, by emailing their contact information to [email protected].

Alfredo Jaar is a Chilean-born artist, architect, and ?lmmaker living in New York.  He is best-known as an installation artist, often incorporating photography and covering socio-political issues and war – his best-known work perhaps being the six-year long The Rwanda Project about the 1994 Rwandan genocide. Trained as an architect rather than as an artist, Jaar describes his working method as how an architect would approach a new commission. He studies each new place “not only in physical but also in social, political, as well as cultural terms,” in the search for the de?ning essence or issue that will guide his artistic practice. Through compiling ?rst-hand accounts and detailed research, Jaar often brings attention to issues that are very real for some, but often ignored by others, such as homelessness, pollution and genocide. He has made numerous public interventions, such as The Skoghall Konsthall one-day paper museum in Sweden; an early electronic billboard intervention, A Logo For America in New York’s Times Square; and The Cloud, a performance project on both sides of the Mexico-USA border.

Jaar’s work has been shown extensively around the world, notably in the Biennales of Venice, São Paulo, Istanbul, Kwangju, Johannesburg and Seville. Important solo exhibitions include the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York; Whitechapel Gallery, London; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; Museum of Contemporary Art of Rome; Fundación Telefónica, Santiago; Musée des Beaux Arts, Lausanne; the South London Gallery; and most recently in a three-museum retrospective of his work in Berlin. Jaar represented Chile at the 2013 Venice Biennale.

The Nasher has also commissioned Rick Lowe, Liz Larner, Ugo Rondinone, Vicki Meek, Charles Long, Good/Bad Art Collective, Lara Almarcegui, Ruben Ochoa and Rachel Harrison to create works for Nasher XChange. Details about their works, including the locations of the installations, will be announced throughout the summer.