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ArtNEWS Interviews Ballroom Marfa’s New Executive Director

14 Nov 2017

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.

Images from Dirty Gay Movie Night

13 Mar 2017

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.

Ballroom Curator Laura Copelin at Frieze

6 Oct 2016

Borderlands : The DesertBallroom Marfa Curator Laura Copelin at Frieze

From seminal Land Art projects like Michael Heizer’s Double Negative and James Turrell’s Roden Crater; to the proliferation of artists’ projects in Marfa, Texas; to Jananne Al-Ani’s films of remote landscapes of the Middle East that have been scarred by war, to Ben Rivers’s most recent project, set in the Biosphere 2 in Oracle, Arizona, the unique and sometimes bizarre landscapes of the desert have served as fertile ground for artists, writers and filmmakers alike. What are the utopian and dystopian qualities of the desert that draw artists over generations? In this panel discussion, curator and writer Shumon Basar discusses the ‘desert imaginary’ with artist Jananne Al-Ani, Ballroom Marfa curator Laura Copelin,

The Future is Female: Ballroom Associate Curator Laura Copelin in A+C Texas

17 Dec 2015

Copelin A+C TX

Caitlin Greenwood talks with Ballroom Marfa Associate Curator Laura Copelin about moving from Los Angeles to Marfa, curating in Texas and the future of Ballroom Marfa …

Being in a space run by (mostly) women feels natural to me.

I was mentored by Elsa Longhauser at SMMoA, now Susan Sutton and Fairfax Dorn at Ballroom, even in art school, artists like Barbara Kruger, Mary Kelly, Eve Fowler, Catherine Opie, and Andrea Fraser had tremendous sway over my education. I was just given a shirt by a beloved colleague from the Otherwild shop in Los Angeles that reads “The Future is Female”—it rings true in my experience!

 

Read the full interview in A+C Texas.

Äppärät Champagne Tour Friday October 9 at 5pm

7 Oct 2015

Champagne Tour

As part of the Chinati Foundation’s Made in Marfa schedule of events over Chinati Weekend, Ballroom Marfa will host a tour of Äppärät, on Friday, October 9 at 5pm.

Curated by Tom Morton, Äppärät is a show about the mammalian hand, and the tools it touches, holds and uses. Taking its title from the name of a fictional, post-iPhone device at the center of Gary Shteyngart’s 2010 near-future novel Super Sad True Love Story, Äppärät is concerned with labor, play and the uncertain zone between the two; with the extension of the body, and the self, through technologies ancient and contemporary; with things (to borrow Martin Heidegger’s formulation) “present-at” and “ready-to” hand; with compulsion and with death.

Äppärät features 13 artists from across Europe, the Americas, and Asia, from major art historical figures to practitioners in the early phase of their careers, including Ed Atkins, Trisha Donnelly, Melvin Edwards, Cécile B. Evans, Jessie Flood-Paddock, Roger Hiorns, Sophie Jung, Lee Lozano, Marlie Mul, Damián Ortega, Charles Ray, Shimabuku, and Paul Thek.

The tour will be led by Ballroom Marfa Associate Curator Laura Copelin. Complimentary champagne will be served in the Ballroom Marfa shop.

Äppärät is on view through February 14, 2016. Read curator Tom Morton’s exhibition notes here.

Ballroom Marfa Names Laura Copelin as Associate Curator

5 Feb 2015

LauraCopelin2

(Marfa, Texas) – Ballroom Marfa’s board of directors is pleased to announce that Laura Copelin will be joining the staff as associate curator. Copelin comes to Ballroom after four years at the Santa Monica Museum of Art, and brings with her a wealth of experience from the ambitious Southern California kunsthalle.

“Laura’s experience across the spectrum of arts organizations – from upstart DIY spaces to respected institutions such as SMMoA – make her an ideal candidate for the associate curator position,” says Ballroom Marfa Executive Director Susan Sutton. “Ballroom Marfa’s diverse programming calendar and unique geographic location require a rare combination of independent spirit and rigorous institutional effectiveness.”

“What excites me most about Ballroom Marfa is the ambition of the artist-driven projects and commissioned installations,” says Copelin. “These opportunities allow artists to immerse themselves in a radically different environment and offer something new to the natural and cultural landscape.”

“It will be interesting to see how my experiences in Los Angeles’ rich creative communities translate to this new setting,” says Copelin. “Highlights from my time at SMMoA are working with Museum’s visionary Executive Director Elsa Longhauser, as well as noted curators Jeffrey Uslip and Lucía Sanromán, on projects with luminaries like Yutaka Sone, Simone Forti, Agnes Denes, Joyce Pensato, Michael Queenland, Suzanne Lacy, and Tania Bruguera as well as brilliant emerging artists like Andrew Cannon, Dwyer Kilcollin, Michael Manning, Keltie Ferris, and Samira Yamin.”

In addition to her work developing exhibitions and programs for SMMoA, Copelin organized a number of interdisciplinary events in Los Angeles, bringing together the worlds of visual art, music, and ecological activism. Copelin has developed projects for Machine Project and the Los Angeles Seminary for Embodied and Civic Arts; contributed to the seminal art and music journal Arthur as well as emerging Los Angeles publication VIA; and operated artist micro-residency Housework in Venice Beach.

Copelin holds a B.A. in English and Art, Magna Cum Laude with Honors, from UCLA and was a part of Mountain School for Arts and Summer Forum for Inquiry and Exchange.

Press contact: Prentice Art Communications
Becky@PrenticeArt.com
212.228.4048

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