Archive for August, 2013

Everything is Everything

This week the DMA unveiled the work Everything is Everything (2006) by the artist Koki Tanaka, which will be on view in the Concourse for the next five months.

video

The work of Koki Tanaka takes shape primarily as video and installation that explores the relationship between objects and actions. His videos record simple gestures performed with ordinary objects—a knife cutting vegetables, beer poured into a glass, the opening of an umbrella—in which seemingly “nothing happens.” Yet, through their repetitive composition and heightened attention to detail, Tanaka’s videos compel us to take notice of the mundane phenomena of daily life. Latent patterns and geometrical forms emerge out of Tanaka’s work, and otherwise ordinary objects are transformed, providing an epiphany of sorts from moments of everyday life.

EVERYTHING IS EVERYTHING, 2006, Eight channel DVDs, color, sound and materials in everyday use, dimension variable, installed at Taipei Biennial 2006 in Taipei Fine Arts Museum. Image courtesy of the artist, Aoyama Meguro, Tokyo, and Vitamin Creative Space, Guangzhou.

Everything is Everything, 2006, eight-channel DVDs, color, sound, and materials in everyday use, installed at Taipei Biennial 2006 in Taipei Fine Arts Museum
(Image courtesy of the artist, Aoyama Meguro, Tokyo, and Vitamin Creative Space, Guangzhou)

The eight-channel video installation Everything is Everything was first created for exhibition at the 2006 Taipei Biennial. For this work, the artist and two assistants spent a total of eight days recording their interactions and interventions with readily available items, including hangers, cups, towels, an air mattress, and toilet paper, all found around the city of Taipei. The physical properties of these objects were tested (a metal hanger is stretched to its breaking point) or their uses were expanded (a level placed on two table legs becomes an impromptu hurdle). Tanaka and his assistants experimented with these objects multiple times, both indoors and in public, and their exploits were compiled into eight distinct video loops ranging in length from 1:19 to 1:50 minutes. Tanaka’s tightly cropped framing of each scene often features the performers from the neck down or removes them from the shot altogether, thus focusing the viewer’s attention on the objects and the simple, repetitive acts being performed.

In her canonical text, Passages in Modern Sculpture (1981), art historian and critic Rosalind Krauss begins the book’s final chapter with a film by Richard Serra, Hand Catching Lead (1968), in which the artist’s disembodied hand tenaciously attempts to catch pieces of falling lead. Krauss reads Serra’s film as characteristic of minimalist sculpture in the way that it “exploit[s] a kind of found object for its possibilities as an element in a repetitive structure.” The repetitive nature of the actions in Everything is Everything, combined with the use of inexpensive, mass-produced materials, highlights an affinity Tanaka’s videos share with the logic of minimalist sculpture and process art of the 1960s. Similarly, Tanaka’s repetitive use of the objects in Everything is Everything alludes to Serra’s Verb List (1967–68), in which the artist listed eighty-four verbs such as “to roll . . . to crumple . . . to drop . . . to scatter” as a means to relate actions to “oneself, material, place, and process.” Tanaka’s object-oriented work is indebted to minimalism as well as to the legacies of Mono-ha and Arte Povera, as evidenced by a shared interest in exploring the physicality and formal qualities of quotidian objects through processes of encounter and repetition.

Japan Pavilion Photos: Keizo Kioku

Japan Pavilion Photos: Keizo Kioku

Japan Pavilion Photos: Keizo Kioku

Japan Pavilion Photos: Keizo Kioku

Koki Tanaka was born in Tochigi, Japan, in 1975, and currently lives and works in Los Angeles. He received his MFA from Tokyo University of the Arts, Japan, in 2005 and has since been the subject of solo exhibitions at UC Irvine University Art Gallery (2012), the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco (2010), and the Museum of Modern Art, Gunma (2008). Recent group exhibitions include Made in L.A. at the Hammer Museum (2012), the Yokohama Triennale (2011), and Making is Thinking at the Witte de With, Rotterdam (2011). Most recently, Tanaka was selected to represent Japan in the 55th Venice Biennale, for which he received a special mention.

Gabriel Ritter is The Nancy and Tim Hanley Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art at the DMA.

Friday Photos: Lights Out

This summer, we were fortunate to have 52 fabulous Teen Docents helping us with tours, story time, Late Nights, and Summer Art Camps.  From mid-June to mid-August, our Teen Docents volunteered 751 hours of their time at the DMA!  We truly couldn’t present our summer programs without them!

We celebrated the end of the Teen Docent season last Friday with an ice cream social and a little light graffiti.  Some of their excellent light designs are below.

Thank you to all of our Teen Docents for a great summer!

Shannon Karol
Manager of Docent and Teacher Programs

Go van Gogh, Past to Present

Go van Gogh, the DMA’s elementary school outreach program, is celebrating its 35th anniversary this year. Before we pack up the Go van Gogh van and head out to schools across the city, we thought it would be fun to take a look through all thirty-five years of the program.

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1992 Go van Gogh program led by DMA educator Phil Collins

Below are a few fun facts about Go van Gogh through the years.

The first Go van Gogh van was actually a bus!

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First Go van Gogh vehicle, 1978

When the program began at the then Dallas Museum of Fine Arts in Fair Park in 1978, school outreach presentations could be given in classrooms or on the Museum Outreach bus itself.

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DMFA teaching staff member Roberta Mathew conducting an outreach program in the Go van Gogh bus in fall 1979

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DMFA education staffers Susan Geyer and Roberta Mathews conducting an outreach program aboard the Go van Gogh bus in fall 1979

Go van Gogh vans (and buses) have always been easy to spot on the freeway.

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Go van Gogh van in 1981

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Go van Gogh van, c. 1988

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Go van Gogh program, c. 1988

Bright and colorful, Go van Gogh vans often feature artworks from the Museum’s collection in painted or vinyl designs. The Go van Gogh van from the late 1990s included a design from Henri Matisse’s Ivy in Flower.

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Go van Gogh van in the 1990s

Go van Gogh van

Today’s Go van Gogh van

Go van Gogh programs have always included a visual presentation of artworks from the Museum.

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Go van Gogh program using a slide projector, 1980s or 1990s

Through the years, we’ve made many updates in the technology we use to bring these artworks to life. What began with projectors and large printed posters led to overhead transparencies and laminated images.

GvG MT Reilly Elementary, 4th grade

Go van Gogh program with 4th graders at Reilly Elementary School

Later this school year, Go van Gogh will go digital: using iPads and projectors to bring images of artworks to life in the classroom.

Looking ahead to fall, we are excited to unveil a new facet of Go van Gogh outreach–a program designed for Special Education classrooms called Color My World. To learn more about the program, visit our website.

Amy Copeland is the Manager of Go van Gogh and Community Teaching Programs at the DMA.

Community Connection: Make Art with Purpose

When you hear the words social change, what comes to mind? Some people think of government and politics, others think of social activists. When Janeil Engelstad envisions social change, her definition includes collaboration, working across disciplines, flexibility, and trust. Janeil is the Founding Director of Make Art with Purpose, “an organization and virtual resource center for creative projects that are shaping and transforming our world in positive ways.” These projects will be showcased during MAP 2013, a festival and exhibition occurring during October and November 2013 in the DFW Metroplex.

JaneilEngelstad_Promo_2013

Janeil Engelstad, Founding Director of Make Art with Purpose

What inspired you to begin your work with MAP?

MAP grew out of my own creative practice, working with communities and addressing social and environmental concerns for the past two decades. Beyond that, I saw a need for a grass-roots organization that promotes the work of artists and organizations who are doing this work internationally and also acts as a connector for these artists, groups, and people from other disciplines (such as scientists and community activists) who could come together through or via MAP to collaborate on a project.

What do you hope to accomplish with the festival this fall?

Producing MAP 2013 Dallas, my initial hope was to bring a handful of national and international artists, talk to local cultural, community, and civic organizations, and see what kind of impact we could have if we came together to produce projects that address concerns that are relevant both locally and globally, such as immigration and climate change. I also hoped, with this initial beginning of reaching out and bringing in, that a spark would be lit that would inspire people to come aboard and address their own needs and concerns. That has been successful beyond my wildest dreams. Local artists and organizations who have never worked this way are seeing this as an opportunity to engage their community and talk about issues that are import to Dallas, and that is inspiring – that organizations and artists are wanting to engage in a civic conversation. Additionally, there are legacy projects that leave something behind, which create something that is longer lasting than a conversation. Some examples are the DMA project, building a new garden at the Trinity River Audubon Center, and a new seating area within a natural dye garden at UNT.

Describe your project with the DMA.

This project grew out of several conversations with Susan Diachisin about the possibility of collaborating with the Center for Creative Connections. During this time, the DMA was in the process of rewriting its mission statement and returning to free general admission. This dovetails with a central part of MAP’s mission to provide access to cultural programs for communities that are often marginalized for one reason or another. Thinking about how we could bring our experience and knowledge together to create something new, I came to the idea of inviting community members to create a guide to the Museum.

During Translating Culture…Community Voices at the DMA, twelve members of the Dallas chapter of Avance spent nine two-hour sessions at the DMA, during which they learned about the Museum’s collections and wrote their personal interpretations and connections about an artwork of their choice to be included in a printed tour for visitors in Spanish and English.

Rosy shares her insights about an 18th-century European painting during a group exercise early in the program.

Rosy shares her insights about an 18th-century European painting during a group exercise early in the program.

Bety contemplates a 20th-century American painting she has selected for the tour.

Bety contemplates a 20th-century American painting she has selected for the tour.

Participants were invited to bring their children, who made art projects in the Museum galleries with DMA and MAP staff.

Participants were invited to bring their children, who made art projects in the Museum galleries with DMA and MAP staff.

How do you tap into your own creativity?

It’s not a conscious thing I do; rather, it ignites when I am swimming…or I could be meditating. If I know I need to come up with a creative idea or solution for something and the seed is planted, after a day or two it will evolve. It comes from a combination of my life experiences, my teachers, my collaborators, Spirit and all the things that inspire me.

Janeil collects items from nature – such as bird nests that she discovers on the ground – by photographing the item in her hands.

Janeil collects items from nature – such as bird nests that she discovers on the ground – by photographing the item in her hands.

What will you do after the festival?

Immediately after the festival, I am working on a project in collaboration with MIT where I’m guest-producing the winter, on-line issue of ARTMargins, which will include a main article in the print edition, linking these two platforms for the first time in the history of the publication. The issue focuses on Eastern European art, ecology, and sustainability. Next year, I’m starting work on something called the Mobile Ecology Art Lab, which is a MAP project that is a retrofitted shipping container that will go around the world and be used as a platform to produce MAP environmental projects: a sort of art center, community house, and school all in one unfolding, portable structure.

For more information about MAP’s great variety of projects, visit www.makeartwithpurpose.net.

Melissa Gonzales
The Center for Creative Connections Gallery Manager

Audio Tours 21st-Century Style

Audio tours have been part of the Museum world for a while, but now you no longer need a shoulder strap when exploring the DMA’s collection. Visitors to the DMA can use their web-enabled devices to access information about the collection, including video interviews, images, geographical information, and responses from the community through the DMA smARTphone tours. Some special exhibitions even have a free smARTphone tour. Right now, discover oral histories tied to Hotel Texas: An Art Exhibition for the President and Mrs. John F. Kennedy (on view through September 15, 2013), and this October you can learn more about the Jim Hodges: Give More Than You Take exhibition from artist Jim Hodges and co-organizing curator Jeffrey Grove, senior curator of special projects & research at the Dallas Museum of Art.

Visitors using audio tour, circa 1960s [Photography by Pat Magruder]

Visitors using audio tour, circa 1960s
[Photography by Pat Magruder]

Visitor using smARTphone tour, 2012

Visitor using smARTphone tour, 2012

Hillary Bober is the Digital Archivist at the Dallas Museum of Art.

Friday Photos: Back to School

The start of the new school year is upon us! It’s an exciting time for kids, adults and educators alike, so what better way to commemorate this time of year than by highlighting works of art from the DMA’s collection that have a scholastic connection. Peruse these works of art and think about how they relate to your memories of school. Do they inspire excitement? Dread? Nostalgia? Click on the images to learn more.

Artworks shown:

  • Olin Herman Travis, Country School House, n.d., Dallas Museum of Art, gift of A. H. Belo Corporation and The Dallas Morning News
  • Thoth, God of Learning and Patron of Scribes, Egyptian, 663-525 B.C.,  Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Elsa von Seggern
  • Geoff Winningham, High School Prom, 1973, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Prestonwood National Bank
  • Pottier & Stymus Manufacturing Company, Library Table, 1865, Dallas Museum of Art, gift of the 1992 Silver Supper and an anonymous donor in honor of Charles L. Venable
  • Howard Baer, My First Day at School, n.d., Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts, The Alfred and Juanita Bromberg Collection, bequest of Juanita K. Bromberg
  • Larry Brown, Untitled #8, 1986,  Dallas Museum of Art, gift of Mr. and Mrs. I. C. Deal

Danielle Schulz
Teaching Specialist

Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic

I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m looking forward to the start of a new school year later this month. The DMA’s galleries have been quiet during the “school day” without the sounds of docents, teachers, and students deep in conversation about works of art. I thought it might be fun to celebrate back-to-school time with a DMA tribute to the “three Rs.”

Reading
Pierre Bonnard often used his nieces and nephews as models for his paintings. Bonnard was also fascinated by education, and in this painting he shows his nephews Charles and Jean Terrasse reading at a table. It’s easy to imagine that these two children are completing their homework assignments before going to bed. It certainly looks as if one of the boys is more interested in his reading than the other—a scene that is probably familiar to many parents and teachers.

Pierre Bonnard, Interior: The Terrasse Children, 1899, oil on paper board panel, Dallas Museum of Art, The Wendy and Emery Reves Collection

Pierre Bonnard, Interior: The Terrasse Children, 1899, oil on paper board panel, Dallas Museum of Art, The Wendy and Emery Reves Collection

Writing
Charles Rohlfs’ Swinging Writing Desk was one of the trademarks of his artistic furniture style. The desk rests on a footed platform and spins on a series of small wheels. The interior of the desk is divided into small compartments—perfect for storing pencils, pens, and any other supplies you might need. I don’t think I would mind doing homework if I had such a beautiful desk to use.

Desk (Model #500), Charles Rohlfs, Charles Rohlfs Workshop, c. 1899-1901, white oak with iron hardware, Dallas Museum of Art, anonymous gift

Desk (Model #500), Charles Rohlfs, Charles Rohlfs Workshop, c. 1899-1901, white oak with iron hardware, Dallas Museum of Art, anonymous gift

Arithmetic
The name khipu comes from a Quechua word meaning “knot,” a fitting name as khipu are made up of many strands of knotted fibers. It is not known what the knots signify, but it is thought that they represent a numerical record. Numbers may be indicated by the size and position of each knot on its cord.

Fragmentary khipu with two main cords and top and subsidiary and tertiary cords, Inca, Late Horizon, c. A.D. 1476-1534, cotton, plant fiber, and indigo dye, Dallas Museum of Art, the Nora and John Wise Collection, bequest of John Wise

Fragmentary khipu with two main cords and top and subsidiary and tertiary cords, Inca, Late Horizon, c. 1476-1534, cotton, plant fiber, and indigo dye, Dallas Museum of Art, the Nora and John Wise Collection, bequest of John Wise

September 16 is the official start date for student programs at the DMA, but we’re currently taking reservations for Museum visits and Go van Gogh outreach programs. Scheduling information can be found online. If you are an educator, we hope you’ll consider bringing your students to the Museum this year. I hope they’ll be as excited as this student was to visit the DMA!

Student jumping off of a school bus at the DMA.

Student jumping off of a school bus at the DMA.

Shannon Karol is Manager of Docent and Teacher Programs at the DMA.


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