To close its 60th anniversary season, the Frye Art Museum is looking forward, not back, with an exhibition that's a far cry from the founding collection of late 19th-century German paintings. To start: There will be sound poetry.
Frye director Jo-Anne Birnie Danzker has collaborated with top Seattle performance artists Joshua Kohl (Degenerate Art Ensemble) and Ryan Mitchell (Implied Violence and Saint Genet), Doug Nufer (associate editor of the American Book Review), and Yoko Ott (director of now-defunct Open Satellite gallery and wife of incoming Frye deputy director Scott Lawrimore) to curate Mw [Moment Magnitude], a project that showcases Seattle’s creative energy and willingness to play nice across disciplines. The artists they announced today include some major players in local hip hop, modern dance, visual art and design; it's almost as if the Frye is launching its own mini festival, a sort of avant-garde Block Party.
Per the release: "Mw [Moment Magnitude] includes three days of public rehearsal with Jherek Bischoff and a 35-musician orchestra; a sonic and kinetic ritual by the Black Constellation (Shabazz Palaces, THEESatisfaction, Maikoiyo Alley-Barnes); a concert by Samantha Boshnack; an evening of sound poetry presented by Jason Conger, the Four Hoarse Men, Interrupture, and Kjell Hansen; an offsite installation in Anne Fenton’s apartment; a performance by Evan Flory-Barnes; live video recording in the galleries by Wynne Greenwood; on- and offsite programs with Tad Hirsch and the Yesler Community Center; a concert with Eyvind Kang; a lecture by Charles Mudede; a concert by the People's Grand Opera; the final stop of Perfume Genius’ fall 2012 tour of North America; a performance by Vis-à-Vis Society; and a four-day-long onsite production by art-dance group zoe | juniper."
"Visitors to the Frye Art Museum will be greeted by a sound installation by Robb Kunz in the reflecting pool from which will emanate the music of Jherek Bischoff. ... And midway through the exhibition, on December 8, Mw [Moment Magnitude] will be transformed with a specially commissioned, large-scale light sculpture by Lilienthal | Zamora."
"Newly commissioned artworks by Leo Saul Berk, Rebecca Brown, and the Black Constellation; the graphic musical scores of Eyvind Kang; and objects and paintings by Matt Browning in constant transformation by nature of their materials, will be presented along with key works by Cris Bruch, Jeffry Mitchell, and Buster Simpson."
The Frye has been experimenting with installations and performance-based work for the past few years—notably its Degenerate Art Ensemble exhibit in 2011 and Susie J. Lee's indoor rainshower—under curator Robin Held, who left the Frye in March to head up film nonprofit Reel Grrls. With the addition of local gallerist Scott Lawrimore as deputy director this fall, the museum ramps up its commitment to Seattle artists and experimentation. We're looking forward to seeing how this plays out—once we're done taking a tour of every painting on view at the Frye. (Sheep. So many sheep.)
Mw [Moment Magnitude]
Oct 13–Jan 20, Frye Art Museum, free