Emily Jacir | Nina Katchadourian | Christina Kubisch | Louise Lawler | Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle | Kaffe Matthews | Angel Nevarez | Valerie Tevere | Dario Robleto | Steve Roden | Stephen Vitiello | Steve Rowell and Simparch | Deborah Stratman | Steven Badgett | Julianne Swartz
The Marfa Sessions was Ballroom Marfa’s first exhibition devoted to artists working with sound. Independent curators Regine Basha, Rebecca Gates, and Lucy Raven brought together fifteen artists with specific interests in sound work and its potential as a transgressive medium across place and geography. Individual sound projects were installed at Ballroom and embedded within the public spaces and private corners of Marfa, creating a sonic portrait across the town. Sound interventions were installed and transmitted in a wide range of locations, from local eateries to radio airwaves.
Ballroom’s gallery, the exhibition’s headquarters, featured a visitor’s center sound hub, an exhibition of new visual artwork, and the gallery served as an information hub providing maps to guide visitors to the sound projects throughout town. The fifteen works in the exhibition included already extant pieces adapted for installation in public spaces throughout Marfa, and six new site-specific works specially commissioned by Ballroom and created by: Kaffe Matthews; Nina Katchadourian; Christina Kubisch; Deborah Stratman and Steven Badgett; Steve Roden and Stephen Vitiello; and Steve Rowell and Simparch.
Considered a context-specific exhibition with sound, The Marfa Sessions included specially designed sound environments and acoustic spaces; visual artworks with an integral aural element; and sound work by visual artists who usually work in other media. This interdisciplinary approach to sound art entails positing artists who are not usually thought of as “Sound Artists” alongside artists who are established in the field, and gives way to as many different interpretations of sound as it does for place.
Other artists in the exhibition included: Emily Jacir, Louise Lawler, Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle, Angel Nevarez and Valerie Tevere, Dario Robleto, and Julianne Swartz.
Through site-specific works, activated at various locations across the town, and with the collaboration of the community, The Marfa Sessions aimed to amplify the varied sets of physical and metaphoric characteristics that define “Marfa” — its geopolitical position, local identity, myths, as well as its significant relationship to 20th Century Minimalism and Land Art. The Marfa Sessions sought to call the ear to Marfa and its environs, noting the aural and conceptual depth and breadth of this vast setting.
For more details on The Marfa Sessions visit: themarfasessions.wordpress.com.
Generous support for this exhibition has been provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, The Brown Foundation, Inc. of Houston, The Meyer Levy Charitable Foundation, Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation, Texas Commission on the Arts, Cowles Charitable Trust, Foundation for Contemporary Arts and the Marfa Chamber of Commerce.
Ballroom Marfa would also like to recognize the following members for their generous matching grant donations: Suzanne Deal Booth, Fluent~Collaborative, Texas Gallery, Anonymous, Meredith Dreiss, Deborah Green, Chris Mattson, Cynthia Toles, Molly Cumming, Molly Davies and ttweak.
In-kind support provided by the Chinati Foundation, Glen and LeAna Clifton, the Crowley Foundation, Eppenauer Ranch, Lorri Kershner, Marfa Book Company, Morrison True Value, Alpine, TX, Jacqueline Northcut, Permian Basin Distributing, Alpine, TX, Janet and Dave Scott, Michael M. Stevenson, Thunderbird Hotel, Marfa, TX and Titos Vodka, Austin, TX.
Special thanks to KRTS Marfa Public Radio.
Ballroom Marfa is proud to have Art Lies magazine as a partner for The Marfa Sessions Opening Weekend.