We now know about six of the ten projects planned as part of the Nasher Sculpture Center’s tenth anniversary public art extravaganza, Nasher XChange. First there were the three socially-minded projects located in overlooked neighborhoods around the city. Then, Liz Lander’s project was announced at UTD. Now, it’s Good/Bad Art Collective in a downtown high rise, and Chilean-born artist Alfredo Jaar’s project in – wait a second — the Nasher Sculpture Center?
Jaar’s project proposal for the Nasher’s public art interestingly turns the project on its head. Rather than going out into the community and placing a work of art, or activating an area through some sort of artistic activity, Jaar is instead installing a pavilion within the grounds of the Nasher’s garden that will transmit the community into the museum space. The piece, entitled Music (Everything I know I learned the day my son was born), will include audio recordings of the first cries of babies born in Dallas at a number of participating hospitals throughout the duration of the Nasher program, which runs from October 2013 through February 2014. This piece fits snuggly with much of Jaar’s previous work, which often incorporates the representation of real events, intermingles exterior and interior spaces and experiences, employs ephemerality and temporality — all to explore liminal notions of art, society, and experience.
The second newly announced project is by Good/Bad Art Collective. The collective was a group of mostly UNT art students who staged a series art happenings, events, and performance stunts in the late 1990s and early 2000s, until their informal disbandment in 2001. The group has enjoyed a bit of a revival of late thanks the Dallas Museum of Arts’ DallasSITES exhibition, which not only highlights some of their projects in exhibition form, but offered the museum as the site for a new (and, in my opinion, lackluster) performance during the June Late Night event.
The rumors surrounding Good/Bad’s reunion is that there has been a bit of Behind the Music-style drama accompanying the regroup. Making getting band back together even more difficult, Good/Bad has always employed a loosely construed, open-sourced approach to membership, with more than 100 people claiming some association with the group throughout its heyday. This hive approach to creation will be employed in the proposed Nasher project. On the night of the opening, October 19, Good/Bad will film an infomercial in a makeshift studio built in an empty office suite in the Bryan Place Tower downtown. Visitors will be invited to participate in the infomercial, and, in a page pulled from Chris Burden’s artistic playbook, the resulting program will be broadcast on local, regional, and national TV stations throughout the duration of Nasher XChange. If you can’t make the opening, and if you don’t want to futz with your DVR settings, the impromptu studio and props from the shoot will remain in the office space through the duration of the Nasher XChange, and
there will be edited versions of the infomercial on display as well. (UPDATE: I just got off the phone with Good/Bad’s Martin Iles. The actual infomercial will not be shown in the space, rather video footage from the opening event will be on display. The infomercial will only be able to seen when it is shown on TV. Illes isn’t completely sure yet when and on what channels the infomercial will be broadcast, but hopes to provide that information as we get closer to the opening. So, as they say, stay tuned.)