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Mexican Summer & Ballroom Marfa Present Marfa Myths

16 Jan 2015

Lineup by Rob Carmichael

BALLROOM MARFA & MEXICAN SUMMER PRESENT
MARFA MYTHS
MARCH 13-15, 2015
Featuring Grouper, Iceage, Blood Orange, Connan Mockasin, Tamaryn, Steve Gunn, Weyes Blood, Jefre Cantu-Ledesma, Suicideyear and more

Buy tickets here!

Residents of Brewster, Jeff Davis and Presidio counties may purchase tickets at a discount in-person at Freda and the Ballroom Marfa gallery.

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Marfa Myths is a cultural program taking place March 13-15, 2015 in Marfa, Texas. Curated by New York based music label Mexican Summer and co-presented with Ballroom Marfa, it features artists from within and outside of the Mexican Summer and Software Recording Co.
rosters working creatively and collaboratively across music, cinema and visual arts contexts.

2015 programming includes a recording residency with Dev Hynes and Connan Mockasin, a sound bath created by Jefre Cantu-Ledesma, a semi-permanent outdoor mural by Liz Harris (Grouper), a presentation of Gregg Kowalsky’s live installation Tape Chants, and a screening of short documentaries and Holy Cow Swami at Crowley Theater presented by CineMarfa and Anthology Recordings. Furthermore, live programming throughout the weekend will include sets from Iceage, Grouper, Tamaryn, Steve Gunn, Weyes Blood, GABI, Thug Entrancer, Co La, Bitchin Bajas, LBS. and Suicideyear.

Additionally, there will be an exclusive, limited edition 12-inch record documenting the Dev Hynes and Connan Mockasin collaboration alongside a journal featuring contributions from local Marfa artists and participating festival artists.

A central objective of the festival is to engage with the Marfa community and its esteemed cultural institutions. Marfa is an artist enclave tucked into the high desert of the Trans-Pecos in Far West Texas, and has become a destination for contemporary art, due in part to the work of Donald Judd and the Chinati Foundation. Founded in 2003, Ballroom Marfa has established itself as a hub for artists working in music, performance, film and visual arts. Past projects include Elmgreen & Dragset’s Prada Marfa; Jonah Freeman, Justin Lowe, and Alexandre Singh’s Hello Meth Lab in the Sun; Rashid Johnson’s Shea Butter Irrigation System, and Agnes Denes’ Pyramids of Conscience. Ballroom Marfa has also hosted performances from Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Julianna Barwick, Tinariwen, and Sonic Youth, among many others. The festival will coincide with the opening of a solo exhibition from Sam Falls at Ballroom Marfa, featuring new sound, video, sculptural, and wall works by the Los Angeles-based artist.

The festival follows the inaugural happening in Marfa in March 2014, which featured Mexican Summer roster artists Connan Mockasin, No Joy, Arp and Weyes Blood. With an expanded program for 2015, Mexican Summer and Ballroom Marfa seek to establish this festival as an annual event in Marfa.

Tickets are available at mexicansummer.com, www.ballroommarfa.org, Freda (207 S.
Highland Avenue, Marfa) and in person day of show(s).

Ticketing Info:
Friday & Sunday: free
Saturday: $15 day pass
Festival bundle ($40): Saturday day pass, limited edition 12″ of Dev Hynes & Connan Mockasin, tote bag and journal featuring participating artists and local Marfa-based artists

Friday, March 13 – Ballroom Marfa (108 E. San Antonio Street)
Sam Falls solo exhibition: Opening Night
Software Recording Co. presents: GABI, Thug Entrancer, Co La
Liz Harris’ (Grouper) painting will be available for viewing at 201 E. Dallas Street all weekend and beyond

Saturday, March 14
Sound Bath with Jefre Cantu-Ledesma @ The Well (119 W. Highland Avenue)
Tape Chants with Gregg Kowalsky @ Building 98 (705 W. Bonnie Street)
Mexican Summer presents: Iceage, Grouper, Tamaryn, Steve Gunn, Weyes Blood @ The Capri (603 W. San Antonio Street)
Late night: Bitchin Bajas’, Suicideyear, LBS. @ Foodsharkland (1411 W. San Antonio/Hwy 90)

Sunday, March 15
CineMarfa & Anthology Recordings present a specially selected film program and Holy Cow Swami @ Crowley Theater (98 S.

Ballroom’s Susan Sutton in Vogue!

6 Jan 2015

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Photo: Zina Saro-Wiwa

Mark Guiducci interviews Ballroom Marfa Executive Director Susan Sutton on Vogue.com …

Sutton brings an institutional background and scholarly disposition to Ballroom, which has largely thrived on the unwavering passion of its supporters, including board members Matthew Day Jackson, Allison Sarofim, and Leo Villareal. “There’s been incredible experimentation at Ballroom,” Sutton says. “It’s a really ripe moment to take pause and review and ask what we’ve done,
what have been our highlights, how does that best express Ballroom, and how can we capitalize on that going forward?”

Keep reading in Vogue!

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Trey Laird Shares His Love Affair with Marfa

17 Nov 2014

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Photo by David X Prutting/BFAnyc.com

To mark the occasion of Ballroom Marfa’s 2014 NYC Benefit Gala, BlackBook talked with friend of the Ballroom Trey Laird of Laird+Partners. In this interview he shares the beginnings of his involvement in the town’s art infrastructure, and finding inspiration for his own creative endeavors.

From BlackBook:

How are things going for the Ballroom?

It’s amazing. Obviously the famous thing they supported was Prada Marfa–to have something like that in the middle of nowhere get such global attention, it’s really extraordinary. Not only for those artists, just what it says about independent art and being able to realize projects and have them accept people in different ways. I think there are so many thousands and thousands of people who drive by that and have no knowledge of art and don’t know anything about Ballroom or the artists or anything about it–but think about it and interact with art in maybe a way that they’re not even realizing. I think there’s something really amazing about that. Ballroom is one of those places that I think is such a free-spirit in the art world. There aren’t that many of those. There are so many institutions that are big and powerful and have huge budgets and powerful boards–but to have some small, independent things that are really open-minded and experimental, and have freedom, and allow artists to kind of push the limits of what they want to express: that’s the beauty of what Fairfax and Virginia have created. Most artists are super inspired to do something like that in Marfa. It’s just this magic place that. I’ve never met an artist that either hasn’t loved if they’ve been or isn’t dying to go if they haven’t. That’s inspiring; it’s a very inspiring place.

AFI – Nicole Miller Opens November 22, 2014!

27 Oct 2014

Nicole Miller “Untitled” (David), 2012 Still from one channel of 3 channel HD Raw video installation 7:09 min looped

Artists’ Film International: Nicole Miller
Curated by Erin Kimmel

November 22, 2014 – January 11, 2015
Opening: November 22, 6-8pm

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Organized in conjunction with Whitechapel Gallery, London, Ballroom Marfa is pleased to present the sixth season of Artists’ Film International, a program that showcases international artists working in film and animation. This year in the north and south galleries Ballroom Marfa will feature two video works, David (2012) and Death of a School (2014), by Los Angeles-based artist Nicole Miller.

Miller’s videos explore self-representation and self-presentation in narrative form as a tool for the reconstitution of both physical and psychic manifestations of loss. In David, a man re-tells the story of loosing his arm in a brutal act of random violence while concurrently re-generating his phantom limb through exercises performed in front of a mirror. Interspersed throughout the two galleries, the four-channel work Death of a School is a predominantly silent and languid meditation on a soon to be shut-down school in Miller’s hometown of Tuscon, Arizona where the artist’s mother taught for the majority of her life. Presented together, the videos embrace malleable identity as a function of the story we construct about ourselves as subject or artist—one in which representation not only mediates knowledge through fragmentation and negation but constructs it as well.

Additionally, each of the 12 participating institutions has selected one artist from their region whose works will be screened as part of the international AFI program. Ballroom Marfa’s center gallery has been transformed into an interactive screening room for the viewing of the entire selection of works for the duration of the exhibition.

Nicole Miller (b. 1982; Tucson, Arizona) lives and works in Los Angeles. Solo shows include Believing is Seeing (LACMA), Death of a School (Centre d’Art Contemporain Geneve); The Conductor (LAXART) and Daggering (HMAAC).

Strolby + Guest Guide

10 Sep 2014

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Ballroom Marfa, along with several Marfa friends, recently partnered with Strolby, an online marketplace, to provide a bunch of local products all in one place. Strolby’s editorial director, Sarah Stodola, made some recommendations for future Marfa pilgrims to check out over at Almanac of Style. She writes,”This is a town with the artistic sophistication of a New York City, the pace of a muddy river, and an utterly singular atmosphere, where large-scale isolation fosters a hive of creative activity,” and we’d have to agree.

 

Read all of Sarah’s suggestions here and be sure to shop Marfa on Strolby!

Who’s At Ballroom Marfa This Week?

3 Jun 2014

Brooke Hampshire, Rebecca Carroll, Lizzy Méndez, and Melissa Repko

Brooke Hampshire, Rebecca Carroll, Lizzy Méndez, and Melissa Repko

In bringing back our feature, “Who’s At Ballroom Marfa This Week?”, I got to speak to Brooke Hampshire, Rebecca Carroll, Lizzy Méndez and Melissa Repko on a busy Saturday afternoon this Memorial Day weekend. The four friends from Dallas were on a tour of Far West Texas, and stopped by Ballroom to check out Sound Speed Marker on their way to Prada Marfa, Big Bend National Park, and beyond. Despite spending only two nights in town, these gals were able to regale me with a bunch of “only-in-Marfa” stories.

Ballroom Marfa: Why did you want to come to Marfa?
Brooke Hampshire: I’ve wanted to come for the last decade…I’ve actually always wanted to visit Big Bend, and…friends of mine in the past have come for the art scene so it just worked out.
Lizzy Méndez: I only knew about the Prada thing and I was like, yes! I mean, when else am I going to be able to see that?
Rebecca Carroll: I’ve always just heard about the art… how unique the town was and that it was very eclectic and everybody had their own thing going on… I thought it was kind of like a cool little reclusive area where it was off the grid so that’s pretty cool.

BM: How did you feel about the work that you saw here?
RC: I really liked Movie Mountain (Méliés). I wish we had more time to sort of sit down and watch the whole thing. The two-screen experience…I’m more of a video art person, it’s a lot of what I did in college. I like the exhibit, it’s movie-oriented, and I like that it’s dedicated to all these separate parts, dedicated to one idea.
LM: It’s also just Texas art, which is cool. You can’t get that in, like, New York City.

BM: What’s been the highlight of your trip so far?
RC: We’ve had many. [laughter]
LM: We had like a 16 hour day yesterday, and we did…we walked to like the edge of town, which is just kind of nuts, because it’s four blocks, and it turns into just like a ranch, and you can see [everything], which was awesome… We did the star party, which was amazing.
BH: Yeah, it was amazing.
LM: We very randomly ended up at [Marfa Public Radio], they were so friendly.
RC: Yeah, we’d gone to the NPR studio, and they took us around and gave us advice and directions on what we should do.
LM: They gave us stickers and we bought t-shirts.
RC: …You asked for a highlight, I don’t know which one of those was the highlight.
LM: It was just a great day.
RC: Yeah, overall, it was sort of a package deal. All of Marfa was a highlight.

“The Repeater” talks to Jeff Zeigler and Mary Lattimore about “La Révélateur”, Marfa

26 Mar 2014

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The Crowley Theater, December 30, 2013. Photo by Lesley Brown.

On December 30, Jeff Zeigler and Mary Lattimore visited Marfa to score Ballroom’s fifth-annual New Year’s eve film: Philippe Garrel’s, La Révélateur (1968). Music blog, the Repeater, recently met with Zeigler and Lattimore to discuss their thoughts on west Texas, why they were attracted to La Révélateur, and what’s next for the duo.

Here is an excerpt from part I of the interview, where the musicians discuss creating the score:

Jeff: Despite our previous experience scoring films, the task was not easy. We started by just watching the film and trying to come up with themes, not totally sure what approach to take. While the film has some general recurring ideas—relationship conflict, emotional distance, and coming of age— this doesn’t totally translate into an obvious angle from a musical standpoint.

We decided to start from the most logical path: Improvising to the film as a whole, coming up with musical themes from that, and then building it into a cohesive idea.

Mary: ….We set up in Jeff’s studio and watched the film once through in silence, getting to know the characters. We pinpointed the family’s recurring activities. The film’s pace varies from almost excruciatingly slow, to measured and weary escape, and then to rapid, terrorized flight. So, one of our objectives was to create sounds that reacted instinctively to the movement or stillness in the film. Some of the most memorable scenes were of the couple running through the forest, of the boy moving through a tunnel, and of waves delivering swans elegantly to shore. The boy is the hero of the film, and carries with him a levity and playfulness that contrasts with the dark and troubled parents, and we wanted to focus on that, too.

When we watched the film a second time, Jeff and I jammed from a static drone, and then I started to play a slow melody as the boy walked through a lonely tunnel. This melody came back and morphed into different keys later on, whenever the slow walking reappeared. We created a few themes, and then took them to different places depending on the action. Jeff’s melodica was a really important voice in the melody. He would play a mournful ribbon over my repetitive figures, and the combination of instruments fit together very organically.

Some of the music was just texture, noise, lowered loops of fingernails scraping on harp strings and aggressive banging on stuff. Some of it was silence and negative space. I made Jeff take over the scene of the laughing boy in the bathroom because I had no idea what to do. Our notes were just pages of “Fur Coat = Sparse. Boy Walks Alone. Crucified Parents Theme F#. Silence – Wall Words. Slow Crucified Parents. Tunnel Bed Thick Gliss. Boring Bedroom 2. Fast Train Dm-Cmajor,” and on and on in our language.

The Telegraph Explores Marfa

7 Feb 2014

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We recently featured Nigel Richardson’s article about traveling through El Paso and Juarez with friends of Ballroom, Kaycee Dougherty and Ricardo Fernandez, Roshe Run For Womens
for National Geographic. Richardson continues his West Texas adventure with a trip to Marfa, which he recounts in an article for the travel section of the Telegraph. With the help of his guide, Marfa’s own Minerva Lopez, Richardson explores some of our favorite spots in Marfa, while Minerva reveals how the town has changed since the ’60s.

An excerpt:

Compared with comparably sized Texan towns – Van Horn, say, where the standout event is the Annual Pecan Dessert Contest in December – Marfa is Audrey Hepburn among the cowgirls. But I glimpsed an older, poorer Marfa in the trailer parks and in the thrift stores selling shoes for a dollar a pair, and wondered aloud to Minerva Lopez how the locals got on with the trendies.

“You see men holding hands. Women holding hands. You get the old rancher who says, ‘I can’t go that far’. Well you have to,” she said, adding – possibly with her PR hat on – “We love the diversity of people coming in. The artists who are staying here are teaching our kids in school.