Marfa Dialogues


Artforum: Rafa Esparza on “Browning the White Cube”

Rafa Esparza talks about his Tierra. Sangre. Oro. exhibition with Kate Green at Artforum …

My interest in browning the white cube—by building with adobe bricks, making brown bodies present, and collaborating—is a response to entering traditional art spaces and not seeing myself reflected. This has been the case not only physically, in terms of the whiteness of those spaces, but also in terms of the histories of art they uphold.

Adobe bricks are loaded; they signify brownness, the land, and labor. They also reference my own history: my father’s practice of working with adobe and my experience of adobe brickmaking as a collaborative process. By building with adobe in galleries I am bringing all of this—and the muddy history of American soil, colonization, and progress—into a traditionally white context.

Keep reading in Artforum.

Marfa Myths 2018: Early Bird Tickets Now Available!

Mexican Summer and Ballroom Marfa are pleased to announce Marfa Myths 2018. Our fifth annual music, visual art, and film festival takes place April 12-15 in Marfa, TX.

The extraordinary 2018 lineup features legendary English post-punk band Wire; buzzy songstresses, Jessica Pratt; new age visionary Laraaji; Circuit Des Yeux and Weather Station; acclaimed outlaw country singer and visual artist Terry Allen; folk musician Ryley Walker; electronic producer Omar-S; Moroccan sextet Innov Gnawa; experimental Indonesian group Senyawa; Austin alternative band Thor & Friends; pioneering Italian electronic/new age musician Suzanne Ciani; and many more. Find the current lineup at, and watch for updates in the new year.

Click here for more information on Hyperobjects, Ballroom Marfa’s Spring 2018 group exhibition opening concurrently with the festival.

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ArtNEWS Interviews Ballroom Marfa’s New Executive Director

Photo: Emma Rogers

ARTnews’ Maximilíano Durón talks with Ballroom Marfa Executive Director and Curator Laura Copelin about her recent promotion and vision for the organization.

Copelin sees Ballroom Marfa, which is located in a converted dance hall from the 1920s, as a continuation of the daring artistic vision that Judd first had for the town. “My vision for Ballroom Marfa is very much a continuation of the spirit of its founding: to create new work that wouldn’t be possible anywhere else,” she said.

Copelin said she will continue to focus on commissioning new work that will “really expand the conversation to include disciplines that aren’t usually included in the contemporary-art conversation,” mainly focusing on the ecological and natural sciences and how they are part and parcel to the rich landscape of Marfa, as well as maintaining an on-going dialogue with the town’s community.

“I like to think about collaboration with the community, as opposed to engagement,” Copelin said. “We have such a rich ground to work with in Marfa, with this incredible creative and cultural heritage. We want to contribute to what’s happening and amplify what’s special about this place, and amplify new work by artists who deserve to have a platform to make art.”

Keep reading at ARTnews.

JD Samson & MEN at the Tierra. Sangre. Oro. Opening

The art/performance collective MEN will join us in the courtyard for the Tierra. Sangre.

Oro. opening reception! MEN is led by LeTigre’s JD Samson and Michael O’Neill. These legendary artists believe in the radical potential of dance music and its power to demand liberties through invention and play. The New York Times describes Samson as “a powerful force at the intersection of lesbian, feminist culture and popular music,” and as someone keeping “the term ‘feminist electro-punk artist’ on the map.” Bitch Magazine says MEN’s 2013 album “is an upbeat, fiery electronic album that you can put on repeat three times in a row and still want to hear again.” They’re traveling to Marfa for their first show in years. Their set begins at 8:30pm, and is not to be missed. To hear more of their music, visit the JD Samson & MEN Bandcamp page. The performance is free, and open to the public. RSVP on Facebook. The evening will also feature tacos by Vicente Celis, and cold refreshments from Big Bend Brewing Co. and SAVED Wines.

Tierra. Sangre. Oro. Opens August 25

Photo via @maeamaria Tierra. Sangre. Oro.
Friday, August 25th
Opening Reception 6 – 8:30 • Live music from JD Samson & MEN at 8:30
Join us for the opening reception of Ballroom’s fall exhibition Tierra. Sangre. Oro., an exhibition envisioned by artist Rafa Esparza. The program will include new installation, performance, and sculptural work from Esparza alongside collaborations and contributions from artists Carmen Argote, Nao Bustamante, Beatriz Cortez, Timo Fahler, Eamon Ore-Giron, and Star Montana. The reception is free and open to the public. There will also be free brews by Big Bend Brewing Company and wine from SAVED, and Vicente Celis will be serving his famous tacos. More info on Facebook.

Behind the Scenes at the Tierra. Sangre. Oro. Installation

We are busy installing our upcoming exhibition 'Tierra. Sangre. Oro.' with @elrafaesparza! Join us for the opening August 25, 6 – 10. There will be a special performance from @jd_samson & MEN + Tacos n ?

A post shared by Ballroom Marfa (@ballroommarfa) on Aug 16, 2017 at 2:09pm PDT

Join Ballroom Marfa at The Capri!

As part of Ballroom Marfa’s spring membership drive we’re hosting a cocktail hour at the Capri on Wednesday, June 7 from 6-8pm. The Capri is generously offering a complimentary hibiscus margarita with the purchase of a Ballroom Marfa membership.

Locals can join Ballroom at a special $25 level for this night only! Music will be provided by Stephen Rabourn of the Marfa Public Radio: KRTS program Remote Soundtracks.

New Ballroom Marfa Rewards!

Contributions from Ballroom Marfa members bring new artwork and inspiring ideas into the world. We’d like to offer you something in return. We’re introducing an fresh new collection of Ballroom Marfa merchandise as part of our spring membership campaign. These items are only available currently to members,

Marfa Myths Highlights, Photos + Thanks

Marfa Myths 2017: Holy cow! We can’t believe it really happened — a year in the making and over in a magical flash. Big love to our partner Mexican Summer; all of the local heroes that worked so hard to create an amazing experience; and all the folks who came from near and far, who made it so special. Some of our highlights…

No Nombres performing outside Marfa Public Radio, March 11, 2017. Photo by John Vogler.

No Nombres performing outside Marfa Public Radio, March 11, 2017. Photo by John Vogler.

During the festival, Marfa Public Radio graciously hosted an East-meets-West on-air partnership with Brooklyn’s The Lot Radio. A slew of incredible artists stopped by for interviews, DJ sets, and live performances (we currently have Chulita Vinyl Club‘s DJ set on repeat).

Watch the full archive.

Matt Craven's children's collage workshop at Marfa Studio of Arts, March 11, 2017. Photo by John Vogler.

Matt Craven’s children’s collage workshop at Marfa Studio of Arts, March 11, 2017. Photo by John Vogler.

Our artist-in-residence, Matt Craven, held an awesome children’s collage workshop on Saturday morning during the festival. Big thank you to all the children who attended, Marfa Studio of Arts, and Rae Anna Hample, who helped guide the workshop. We hope the future is a little brighter with collage artists.

Images from Dirty Gay Movie Night

Thanks to everyone who joined us for a night of dirty gay movies, yoga,and song. Extra gratitude to Rae Anna Hample and Eileen Myles for helping us kick off Marfa Myths in such fine style. Read more about Dirty Gay Movie Night here. All photos by Alex Marks. Dirty Gay Movie Night.