Ballroom Marfa Art Fund


Marfa Myths Highlights, Photos + Thanks

15 Mar 2017

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.

Announcing the Full Marfa Myths Schedule!

13 Jan 2016

We are pleased to announce the final Marfa Myths festival line up for 2016, including the addition of Connan Mockasin’s Wet Dream (a one-off collaboration between Connan and some special friends); Fred & Toody of the legendary Portland band Dead Moon; Hailu Mergia, the Ethiopian musician rediscovered and championed by Awesome Tapes From Africa; Bay Area bashers Heron Oblivion; and recent Mexican Summer signees Pill.

Not to mention that we’ve added David Fenster’s psychedelic mushroom movies, soundtracked by local Marfa musicians, to Sunday’s film lineup. Not. To. Be. Missed.

Buy tickets!

Don’t forget, residents of Brewster, Jeff Davis and Presidio counties get a Marfa Myths discount until March 1, 2016. Come by the Ballroom Marfa gallery to purchase.

Marfa Myths


Wednesday, March 9

Real News “Around Town” at Jett’s (Free)
Stop by and contribute gossip, get interviewed, entertain, share youtube videos, etc.!

Thursday, March 10

Real News “Around Town” at Dairy Queen (Free)
Stop by and contribute gossip, get interviewed, entertain, share youtube videos, etc.!

Welcome party with Pill and Fred and Toody (Dead Moon) at the Lost Horse (Free)

Midnite Movie at the Crowley Theater (Free)
featuring A Poem Is a Naked Person, about singer-songwriter and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Leon Russell as filmed by documentarian Les Blank between 1972 and 1974.

Friday, March 11

Real News “Around Town” at Freda (Free)
Be part of history!

Mary Lattimore at Wrong Marfa (Free)

Opening reception for After Effect at Ballroom Marfa with Heron Oblivion (Free)

Afterparty with Hailu Mergia and Awesome Tapes From Africa at El Cosmico (Free)

Saturday, March 12

After Effect walkthrough with artists at Ballroom Marfa (Free)

William Basinski performing in the Arena, presented in partnership with The Chinati Foundation (Free)

Open viewing and workshop at The Block with 5pm performance of a site-specific work by Maria Chavez. Presented in partnership with Judd Foundation. (Free)

No Age, Parquet Courts, Connan Mockasin’s Wet Dream, Lower Dens, Quilt with Mary Lattimore, Sheer Mag at The Capri (Ticketed)

Sunday, March 13

Release of Real News Marfa Myths Edition at Marfa Book Company. (Free)

Anthology Recordings presents David Fenster’s mushroom movies with local musicians; Raum with Paul Clipson; and Dungen scoring The Adventures of Prince Achmed at the Crowley Theater (Ticketed) (Online tickets are sold out for this event, though we will be selling limited standing-room tickets on the day of the show.)

MM Digital Schedule

Thanks to all of our amazing partners for opening their doors to us, not to mention the general community of Marfa. Discounted Marfa Myths tickets available in the Ballroom Marfa gallery for Ballroom Marfa members and all residents of Brewster, Jeff Davis and Presidio counties until March 1, 2016. Tickets to the Saturday night concert $15.

Ballroom Marfa & Mexican Summer Present Marfa Myths, March 10-13, 2016

2 Nov 2015

Marfa Myths.    Design by Hilary duPont and Rosa McElheny.

Marfa Myths is a cultural program taking place March 10 – 13, 2016 in Marfa, Texas. Curated by Ballroom Marfa and Brooklyn-based record label Mexican Summer, Marfa Myths features artists and musicians from within and outside of the label’s roster working creatively and collaboratively across music, film, and visual arts contexts. Following a successful 2015 program bringing more than 600 international attendees, Marfa Myths enters its third year in 2016.

2016 programming for Marfa Myths includes a recording residency with Natalie Mering (aka Weyes Blood) and a special collaborator to be announced during the festival, a daytime performance by William Basinski, a Friday night after party featuring Awesome Tapes From Africa, and new audio/visual performances by Dungen and Raum (Liz Harris/Grouper and Jefre Cantu-Ledesma) with Paul Clipson, along with a selection of short films at Crowley Theater presented by Anthology Recordings, the reissue subsidiary of Mexican Summer. Live programming throughout the weekend includes performances from Parquet Courts, No Age, Quilt with Mary Lattimore, Sheer Mag, and LA legend Emitt Rhodes‘ first live show since 1973.

A central objective of Marfa Myths is to engage with the Marfa community and its esteemed cultural institutions. An artist enclave tucked into the high desert of the Trans-Pecos in Far West Texas, Marfa has become a destination for contemporary art since the arrival of Donald Judd and the establishment of The Chinati Foundation in 1986. This year, Marfa Myths and Judd Foundation will partner for a Saturday afternoon performance of a site-specific work by New York artist and turntablist Maria Chavez at The Block, Judd’s residence and studio in Marfa.

Ballroom Marfa was established in 2003 in a 1927-era ballroom, now converted into a nonprofit contemporary art and performance space. Since 2003, Ballroom Marfa has organized over 40 multidisciplinary art exhibitions and performances, including work such as Elmgreen & Dragset’s Prada Marfa and Rashid Johnson’s Shea Butter Irrigation System. Ballroom’s past music programs include concerts and commissioned work from Julianna Barwick, Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Tinariwen, Beach House, Alex Waterman, and Graham Reynolds.

DC 1974
Dan Colen
Coming Down Again, 2014
Oil on canvas
89 1/2 x 119 in

Ballroom Marfa will open a group exhibition developed with New York-based artist Dan Colen — with a reception on Friday, March 11 — to coincide with the Marfa Myths weekend. This visual arts program will examine the medium of painting in Colen’s most recent body of work, offering new interpretations of landscape, sublimity, and spirituality.

As with last year’s event, there will be an exclusive, limited edition 12″ documenting Weyes Blood’s residential collaboration alongside a Marfa Myths journal designed by Hilary duPont and Rosa McElheny and featuring contributions from Marfa-based artists and writers along with participating festival artists.

Marfa Myths.   Design by Hilary duPont and Rosa McElheny.

Buy tickets to Marfa Myths here. Residents of Brewster, Jeff Davis and Presidio counties may purchase tickets at a discount in-person at the Ballroom Marfa gallery. Read our tips for getting to Marfa and where to stay (and you can always check out last year’s guide).

Forever Sucking Dry: Desert Surf Films Ambience

5 Oct 2015


Forever Sucking Dry, Daniel Chamberlin’s cetacean-mind-communion soundtrack to Ballroom Marfa’s Desert Surf Films series in August is now streaming. Many thanks to Travis Bubenik and Gory Smelley for help recording and editing the mix for broadcast. The setlist includes songs from Aloha Spirit, Emeralds, Former Selves, Sun Araw, These Trails, Buffy Sainte-Marie and more, underscored by surf ambience, whale songs and dolphin conversations.

You can find an 11” x 17” print of the Forever Sucking Dry image as the centerfold of Stay Golden, a desert surf films ‘zine designed and edited for Ballroom Marfa by Hilary duPont, Liz Janoff and Ian Lewis. Available for $10 in the Ballroom Marfa shop. The ‘zine also includes prose, poetry and artwork from Joshua Edwards, Tim Johnson, Eileen Myles and Brandon Shimoda.

Daniel Chamberlin is Ballroom Marfa’s communications director,

Desert Surf Films Photos

15 Sep 2015


Images from the first Desert Surf Films program at Ballroom Marfa, held on the weekend of August 28-29, 2015. The program featured screenings the visionary ’70s surf features Morning of the Earth (1971) and Crystal Voyager (1973) alongside short films by Sam Falls and Joe Zorrilla, and Ian Lewis.

More high desert surf vibes can be found in Stay Golden, a Desert Surf ‘zine designed and edited by Hilary duPont, Liz Janoff and Ian Lewis. It includes contributions from Daniel Chamberlin, Joshua Edwards, Sam Falls, Rae Anna Hample, Nicki Ittner, Tim Johnson, Eileen Myles, Caitlin Murray, Brandon Shimoda, and more. Check it out in the Ballroom Marfa shop.

All photos by Lesley Brown of Marfalite Studios.


9 Dec 2014


Come visit Ballroom Marfa at the first-ever FREDA holiday pop up in NYC this week, December 11th-13th, at The Collective Showroom from 11am-7pm. FREDA will be recreating their Marfa boutique space on a much larger scale with all of the wonderful brands we love from Marfa and beyond. There will be an opening night reception on Thursday, December 11th, from 6pm-9pm hosted by Pamela Love with drinks by Gather Journal and music by Ballroom Marfa!! If you or yours are in the city this week, please drop by and see us.

Whitechapel Gallery Artists’ Film International Highlights Nicole Miller

5 Nov 2014


Jorge Macchi’s (Argentina) film 12 short Songs (2009), Courtesy of Whitechapel Gallery

This video presented by London’s Whitechapel Gallery highlights the 2014 season of works for Artists’ Film International, a collection of artists’ film, video and animation from around the world. Among the artists highlighted is Nicole Miller, who will be featured in Ballroom’s sixth installment of Artist’s Film International. Artist’s Film International is on view November 22-January 11, 2015 at Ballroom Marfa, with an opening reception on November 22 from 6-8pm. Click here for all the details.

The video also includes work from artists Jorge Macchi (Argentina), Angela Su (China), Oded Hirsch (Israel) and Provmyza Group (Russia).

A description of Nicole Miller’s piece from Whitechapel:

Untitled (David) (2012) by Nicole Miller observes a man the artist encountered by chance on the street.
He recounts the events leading to the amputation of his left arm whilst his right limb is reflected in a mirror,

Nicole Miller’s “Believing is Seeing” for LACMA9 Art + Film Lab

30 Oct 2014


Image: Artist Nicole Miller with filmmaker Billy Woodberry, courtesy of LACMA

In anticipation of Nicole Miller’s work being featured in Ballroom’s sixth installment of Artist’s Film International, here is a review of her previous solo show at LACMA:

Entitled “Believing is Seeing”, LACMA commissioned Miller to nine interviews of select Redland residents for the Lab’s oral history hour tours in order to identify subjects for new artworks. This year and a half long collaborative project showed Miller’s interest in mining “stories that residents feel deserve to be told” about their lives and communities, “[and belief that] the stories individuals choose to present are a great signifier of the values of a community.” Her works explore “subjectivity and self-representation as tools wielded for the possible reconstitution of lost histories, dead fantasies, or even broken physical bodies.”

From KCET:

The journey that Miller describes could be summed up as an exploration of self-representation. Miller is not a documentarian, and LACMA’s charge was not to create a series of photojournalistic biographies representing the sites that compose the LACMA9 initiative. Rather, Miller regularly uses documentary practice to “give people space to self-represent.” Some of the circumstances depicted in past work include a man recalling the amputation of his arm, young people dancing explicitly at a club, a conductor performing, and a yogi engaged in transcendental meditation.

Artist’s Film International is on view November 22-January 11, 2015 at Ballroom Marfa,

Hubbard/Birchler in “Bomb”

8 Jul 2014

Teresa Hubbard / Alexander Birchler Installation View, Giant 2014 High Definition Video with Sound Duration: 30 min. Synchronized 3-Channel Projection Courtesy of Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York and Lora Reynolds Gallery, Austin Commissioned by Ballroom Marfa Photo Credit: Frederik Nilsen
Giant, 2014. Teresa Hubbard / Alexander Birchler
High Definition video with sound 30min., loop. Courtesy of Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York and Lora Reynolds Gallery, Austin. Commissioned by Ballroom Marfa

Irina Arnaut for Bomb recently interviewed artists Teresa Hubbard and Alexander Birchler, whose solo exhibition Sound, Speed, Marker is currently on view at Ballroom. In it they discuss the making of their work Eight, Eighteen, as well as the three films included in the exhibition (Grand Paris Texas, Movie Mountain (Méliès), and Giant).

An excerpt:

Irina Arnaut: At the end of Giant, the secretary who’s been writing up the contract, gazes thoughtfully out the window and then looks directly at the camera/viewer. I wondered about that for a long time. Usually with a movie you think of the lead actors and directors first, then perhaps cinematographers, producers, and so forth—never really the secretary who drew up the production contract. Throughout your Giant, this secretary is the only person we ever associate with the 1956 production of Giant. So in a way she comes to represent the making of the 1956 Giant. When she looks directly at the camera, I couldn’t tell what she was thinking or what she meant except to claim her presence or existence—not confrontational, but certainly assertive. Were you interested in deconstructing or rearranging power dynamics often associated with the movies?

Teresa Hubbard: This is a perceptive insight about the secretary’s stance. She is the presence and placeholder for what is absent, yet she wears and alters this representation through the unfolding of the narrative.

Alexander Birchler: There are several moments throughout Giant—indeed in all the works we’ve been talking about in Sound Speed Marker, as well as Eight, Eighteen—where we consciously break the fourth wall, and, in different ways, employ strategies of Brecht’s distancing effect, or Verfremdungseffekt. We are interested in establishing a terrain that offers immersion for the viewer, in order to twist and entangle that kind of viewing position with other meta-positions.

Vidas Perfectas on Vimeo

2 Jul 2014

If you’re unable to attend the West Texas and Mexico performances of Vidas Perfectas, or just want a sample of what’s coming up, check out all seven episodes of the work on Vimeo (recorded in front of a live audience during the Whitney Biennial).

El Parque (The Park):

Vidas Perfectas – El Parque (17 Apr 2014 @ 4:30pm) from Alex Waterman on Vimeo.

El Supermercado (The Supermarket):

Vidas Perfectas – El Supermercado (19 Apr 2014 @ 12pm) from Alex Waterman on Vimeo.

El Banco (The Bank):

Vidas Perfectas – El Banco (18 Apr 2014 @ 1:30pm) from Alex Waterman on Vimeo.

El Bar (The Bar):

Vidas Perfectas – El Bar (19 Apr 2014 @ 4:30pm) from Alex Waterman on Vimeo.

El Salon (The Living Room):

Vidas Perfectas – El Salon (18 Apr 2014 @ 1:30pm) from Alex Waterman on Vimeo.

La Iglesia (The Church):

Vidas Perfectas – La Iglesia (17 Apr 2014 @ 1:30pm) from Alex Waterman on Vimeo.

El Patio De Atras (The Backyard):

Vidas Perfectas – El Patio De Atras (19 Apr 2014 @ 4:30pm) from Alex Waterman on Vimeo.

And if you’re really in a Robert-Ashley frame of mind, treat yourself to watching the original Perfect Lives: An Opera for Television, four episodes of which are available on YouTube.

The Park (Privacy Rules):

The Supermarket (Famous People):

The Bank (Victimless Crime):

The Bar (Differences):

And if you still can’t get enough,