Baby Screams as Public Art? The Nasher's Newest Commision is a Real Womb-Shaker.
On Friday the Nasher announced the latest piece of public art for its Xchange initiative, a sound installation by Alfredo Jaar titled Music (Everything I know I learned the day my son was born). The Chilean installation artist will target what it means for an institution to age, grow and reflect back on a decade within a community by doing something weird.
Flickr: rharrison (http://www.flickr.com/photos/rharrison/)
He's recording the first cries of (participating) babies born between October 1, 2013 and February 1, 2014 at Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas, Methodist Dallas Medical Center and Parkland Health & Hospital System, then he'll play them as an evolving scream chorus in a pavilion at the Nasher.
"These babies will enter the museum at the earliest age possible, almost immediately out of their mothers' womb. They will come not as visitors, but as active participants - as artists and performers themselves," said Jaar.
In addition to focusing on Dallas' growth and continued renewal, all participating babies get a newly created lifetime Nasher Membership -- which you gotta admit, is pretty dope. The families of said super stars get a a one-year Giacometti Level Membership. (If your due date lands during the project and you'd like to participate in what press releases call "a concert, a symphony of voices," and you'll call "lactation night terrors" hit up NasherBabies@NasherSculptureCenter.org.)
Jaar's is the fifth announced Nasher Xchange project, just in case you're keeping count. So far we've seen a broad-spectrum of concepts and approaches rooted in public art. Up in Vickery Meadow Rick Lowe is at work to unite a disjointed neighborhood through cultural cross-pollination and pop-up public markets; at the site of UT Dallas' new ATEC building, where a shared art and technology curriculum launches in 2014, Liz Larner will install a mirror-polished steel sculpture representative of the merged practices; Swedish-raised artist Ugo Rondinone has chosen to build a simple pier into Fish Trap Lake and paint it brilliantly, luring visitors out for unadulterated reflection; and Ruben Ochoa will build from the Trinity River Audubon's own soil to create a series of construction site mounds reminiscent of birds in formation.
Nasher Xchange runs from October 19, 2013 to February 16, 2014.