The Week Ahead @ Henry

Welcome back to the Henry!

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“Ann Hamilton: the Common S E N S E” opening day. Courtesy of Robert Wade.

Ann Hamilton: the common SENSE
The artist  writes, “To touch is always to be touched in return.” Ann Hamilton illustrates how touch is not only mere physical contact–when we touch anything, it also touches us back, leaving an imprint. Performances through singing and reading will animate your experience as you wander through the galleries. Participation is encouraged–add your own image to the portraits of visitors along our wall and take home a newsprint image of an animal to remind you of your experience of the common SENSE.

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A Reader/Scribe addresses an object. Photo courtesy of Robert Wade.

Call for Reader/Scribes
As you peruse Hamilton’s works, you will notice individuals reading aloud throughout the exhibition. Reader/scribes are volunteers who read from a specially chosen book and transcribe the text into a project log. The reader/scribe becomes the conduit for a physical record of the collective activity. If you are interested in participating in the common SENSE as a reader/scribe, sign up here.

Cory Doctorow. Photo credit: Jonathan Worth.
Cory Doctorow. Photo credit: Jonathan Worth.

Special Lecture: Cory Doctorow
Kane Hall
October 25, 7:00-8:30 PM

This lecture is a preview to Surveillance & Privacy: Art, Law, and Social Practice, a multi-day seminar held November 20-22, discussing issues relating to privacy and surveillance. In a lecture titled, “Alice, Bob and Clapper: What Snowden taught us about privacy,” author and activist Cory Doctorow will address issues on social activism, copyright, surveillance, and privacy.

Jellyfish Eyes and Japan’s Monster Culture

Please enjoy the this guest post on our upcoming screening of Jellyfish Eyes by writer/scholar Zack Davisson.

The Henry is honored to be one of nine host art institutions across the USA to host these screenings the first weekend of May. Jellyfish Eyes (Mememe No Kurage) [still].

Japan loves monsters. They write books about monsters, draw comics about monsters, make movies about monsters, and even name their foods after monsters. Whether it is from the magical menagerie of Japan’s traditional yōkai or the post-war, towering beasts of destruction like Godzilla, Gamera, or Ultraman; or the endless parade of modern Pokemon (which translates into English as Pocket Monster); Japanese children are weaned on monsters. They find these strange beasts as friendly of companions as American children find Snoopy and Yoda. It comes as no surprise that one of Japan’s premier modern artists, Takashi Murakami, loves monsters, too.

Murakami has always included monsters in his artwork. When he was searching for an artistic style free of Western influence—something “uniquely Japanese”—he found was he was looking for in Japan’s monsters. His Superflat* exhibitions summoned all of Japan’s monsters, from the distant Heian period prints to the garish extravaganza of modern pop culture, and smashed them together into an organic style that speaks both of Murakami and Japan.

In his first film Jellyfish Eyes, Murakami again summons monsters. They are monsters of his own creation but with a nod to two fellow Japanese artists in particular—Shigeru Mizuki and Toru Narita. In an interview with Harper’s Bazaar, Murakami states that Jellyfish Eyes is “… inspired by ‘a manga called GeGeGe no Kitaro’ from the 1960s,” a comic that “accidentally formed the basis for the rest of [his] life.” In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, he expands, saying “My life is heavily influenced by two television shows – Ultraman [1966-1967] and Ultra Seven [1967-68] – because of the artists behind them, especially the Ultraman series artistic designer Toru Narita.”

Murakami is in good company. These artists—Takashi Murakami, Kitaro-creator Shigeru Mizuki, and Ultraman-designer Toru Narita—are torch-bearers of Japan’s monster culture. Shigeru Mizuki rescued Japan’s folkloric yōkai monsters from the ashes of WWII, recasting them as down-to-earth working class heroes with very human motivations and adventures. Mizuki is a mix of the sacred and the profane, pursuing serious scholarly research into yōkai for his Yōkai Encyclopedias, all the while injecting his comic Kitaro with his own earthy sense of humor—fart jokes and all. Toru Narita dove into the future for his monsters, more inspired by the American Buck Rogers and alien attacks than mythical yōkai. He gave the children of Japan a sense of hope for the future and a much needed escape during a time of social upheaval and transformation.

These three artists are also not content delivering mere entertainment. Mizuki turned his beloved Kitaro characters into history teachers, brutally confronting Japan with its own past in his comic series Showa: A History of Japan. Narita also used his monsters to personify social problems, creating physical manifestations of complex issues for Ultraman to smash. In the same way, Murakami promises that Jellyfish Eyes will use the approachable, familiar, and friendly faces of these cute little monsters to educate the children of Japan about concepts as grim as the inevitability of death and the certainty of periodic failure.

And, I have no doubt, at the same time Murakami will inspire a new generation of Japanese monster-lovers to carry their strange beasts into the future.

 

See Murakami’s Jellyfish Eyes this weekend at Henry Art Gallery – get tickets here.

 

*”Superflat” is a term coined by Murakami to describe the way various forms of graphic design, pop culture, and fine arts are compressed or flattened in Japan. Want to learn more? Join us at 6pm on May 2nd, before the 7pm screening of Jellyfish Eyes, for “Collections in Focus: Superflat” with UW Associate Professor James Thurtle for a FREE conversation and viewing of works from our collection. Thurtle will make connections between Murakami’s work, manga, anime, and the ‘flat’ images of 17th, 18th and 19-century Japanese printmakers.

 

Zack Davisson is a translator, writer, and scholar of Japanese folklore, ghosts, and manga. He is the author of Yurei: The Japanese Ghost and the translator of Shigeru Mizuki’s Showa 1926-1939: A History of Japan. He also created the popular Japanese folklore website Hyakumionogatari Kaidankai.

The Week Ahead @ The Henry

We are a third of the way through November so we wanted to check: How’s your novel coming? How’s your moustache coming?

That’s great! Keep up the good work!

Is this Greek to you? November hosts two great social movements: one to encourage people to write a novel called National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and another to promote men’s health called Movember. We dare you start one today!

National Novel Writing Month 2013

A Weekend of Words, Writing & Music

Take a break from your NaNoWriMo writing and be inspired by Travis Jeppesen. He is a novelist, poet, art critic, and playwright currently touring the US for the release of his new novel, The Suiciders, published by Semiotext(e).

Words & Music: Travis Jeppesen and Wirekid (Philip Guichard)

This Friday, November 15 from 7:00 – 9:00 PM at the Henry Auditorium see Jeppesen and Wirekid will perform live. Get tickets for the reading/performance HERE

Workshop: Object Oriented Writing

Join us the next day (Nov 16) from 1:00 – 4:00 PM for a writing workshop with Jeppesen.

Jeppesen describes the process of Object Oriented Writing as “a new form—neither poetic nor art-critical, yet retaining characteristics of both . . . [this writing] positions itself within the work of art, and [includes] all the necessary contradictions and impossibilities embedded within such an approach.”

Purchase tickets to this workshop HERE

Get Healthy with Us this Movember

Take a break from growing your Movember moustache and check out these two great events to calm your mind and get your heart racing.

Moustachery Portrait

Mindfulness Meditation

Mindful Awareness is the moment-by-moment process of actively and openly observing one’s physical, mental, and emotional experiences. Extensive research has proven that mindfulness is an effective way to reduce stress, improve attention, boost the immune system, reduce emotional reactivity, and promote a general sense of health and well-being.

Meditations begin promptly at 12:30 on Thursday. Registration is not required, please check in at the Henry’s front desk for location information.

Circuit Training with Lacy Draper

Then on Sunday from 2-3 PM, exercise your body and mind with local artist and UW MFA alumna Lacy Draper. Part museum tour and part boot camp, each active session will focus on a single theme—such as architecture, discernment, identity, or documentation—and explore a work from each exhibition through the lens of that theme.

Space is limited, please register HERE.

Ongoing Faculty Lecture Series: Rebecca Cummins

Photomedia Associate Professor Rebecca Cummins will discuss her work at this free event from 6:00 – 7:30 PM on Thursday. This lecture is part of the UW School of Art tenure and promotion process. It accompanies an exhibition of Cummins’ artwork at the Jacob Lawrence Gallery on view from November 15th.

Reserve Tickets ONLINE.

The Week Ahead @ The Henry

It’s a big week for us at the Henry — we’re gearing up to celebrate the 10th birthday of our beloved Skyspace, Light Reign!

An external view of the Skyspace. Photo credit: Dan Bennett
An external view of the Skyspace.                                      Photo credit: Dan Bennett

Join us THIS FRIDAY, July 19th for cake, ice cream, beer, and fun! Inside and outside of the Skyspace, artists, performers, and poets will explore ideas about the psychology of visual perception, celestial events, and light and optics. A display about the Skyspace will also be on view, featuring the Light Reign architectural model, a short video about artist James Turrell and the creation of Light Reign, and information about Turrell’s Skyspaces around the world.

Special Cocktail Hour for Henry Contemporaries and Patrons

Henry Contemporaries and Patrons are invited to an exclusive cocktail hour and barbecue from 5:30-6:30, before the event opens to the general public. Enjoy summery cocktails and kebabs with old and new friends. Reserve your spot here. Not a Contemporary or Patron? Become one and gain access to exclusive Henry events.

 

Also this week…

On Wednesday, July 17, Joe Milutis, Assistant Professor in the School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, UW Bothell, will guide visitors through Paul Laffoley: Premonitions of the Bauharoque for a tour titled Mysticism as Information Design. Drawing from sources in alchemy, theosophy, and contemporary art, he will situate Laffoley’s work in the context of the long tradition of the mystic diagram, a visual trope that may tell us as much, if not more, about the history of design than the imponderabilia it attempts to grasp.

Laffoley exhibition
Paul Laffoley: Premonitions of the Bauharoque is on view through September 15.               Photo credit: R.J. Sánchez

Relax with DOWN TIME

Have you checked out our summer show Down Time in the Test Site? This week we are featuring “Life Hacks.” Join us for a demonstration and workshop with Ned Konz of Jigsaw Renaissance, who will teach you how to make light and capture it in a jar. Inspired by do-it-yourself culture and the wealth of how-to resources on the internet, Down Time is an eight-week presentation that explores free-choice learning and the pursuit of entertainment in our “down” time. This Friday, July 19th, 6 pm.

And what else could possibly be happening on Friday? BIKE FRIDAY! Ride your bike to the Henry and get in FREE every Friday, all summer long.

See you at the museum!

The Henry receives NEA grant

National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Chairman Rocco Landesman announced today that the Henry is one of 832 non-profit organizations nationwide to receive an NEA Art Works grant. The Henry was awarded a $20,000 grant to support the upcoming exhibition Out [o] Fashion Photography: Embracing Beauty to be presented March 2 – July 7, 2013. The exhibition is curated by Dr. Deborah Willis, Chair and Professor of Photography and Imaging at Tisch School of the Arts, New York University. Out [o] Fashion will present over 90 photographs that examine historic and contemporary representations of beauty. The exhibition will include works by renowned artists Diane Arbus, Richard Avedon, E. J. Bellocq, Marsha Burns, Imogen Cunningham, Edward Curtis, Bruce Davidson, Fred Miller, Hope Sandrow, Cindy Sherman, Lorna Simpson, Andy Warhol, Weegee, Carrie Mae Weems, and Garry Winogrand.

“I’m proud to announce these 832 grants to the American public including the Henry Art Gallery,” said Chairman Landesman. “These projects offer extraordinary examples of creativity in our country, including the creation of new work, innovative ways of engaging audiences, and exemplary education programs.”

In March 2012, the NEA received 1,509 eligible applications for Art Works requesting more than $74 million in funding. The 832 recommended NEA grants total $22.3 million, span 13 artistic disciplines and fields, and focus primarily on the creation of work and presentation of both new and existing works for the benefit of American audiences. Applications were reviewed by panels of outside experts convened by NEA staff and each project was judged on its artistic excellence and artistic merit.

complete listing of projects recommended for Art Works grant support may be found at the NEA website at arts.gov.

The Rest is Just Noise: John Cage Programming at the Henry

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As many of you know, this year is the 100th anniversary of John Cage’s birth. Many arts and cultural institutions across the country are celebrating with John Cage programming, and the Henry is partaking in our own unique way. Within the past week we have staged a performance of Cage’s 33 1/3 Performed by the Audience on Friday. Read more about the performance HERE.

Earlier today we held a sold out workshop on mushroom cultivation at home, Fungus Among Us. You might be wondering “how this is a John Cage related program?” John Cage was an amateur mycologist during his 80 years. Don’t let the adjective “amateur” fool you though, Cage founded the New York Mycological Society with a small group of other mycologially-inclined people over 40 years ago. He also amassed a mycology collection during his lifetime which includes “correspondence, journals, newsletters, pamphlets, ephemera and realia related to mushrooms.” Cage gifted this collection to Special Collections at the University of Santa Cruz, where it can be researched and perused at the McHenry Library. Honoring the music John Cage composed during his lifetime is obviously necessary in a celebration of his life, but so is mycology. You can thank our Public Programs Coordinator, Whitney Ford-Terry, for such inspired programming honoring John Cage as the multidimensional man that he was.

Fungus Among Us was a workshop held at the Henry which was an introduction in cultivating your own edible mushrooms at home. We provided shiitake Grow-At-Home kits from Sno-Valley Mushrooms for the participants and helped them with their first step, rehousing the logs. Then Pacita Roberts with Hildegard Hendrickson from the Puget Sound Mycological Society gave a fantastic presentation on foraging for mushrooms. See pictures above.

If you are sad that you missed out on these two events, you have another chance to celebrate Cage’s multifaceted legacy in a unique way at the end of this month. On November 30th, the Henry is celebrating Cage’s vast and tremendously diverse output by hosting a performance by Stacey Mastrian and Stephen F. Lilly who will present selections that employ the voice in its many facets. These range from the simple, ethereal “Experiences No. 2” for solo voice with text by e e cummings, to readings from Cage’s prolific body of written work, such as Lecture on Nothing and Indeterminacy. Add the Henry to your calendar for November 30th, 7-9 pm, and buy your tickets here.

 

Open House TOMORROW

The Henry Open House is teeming with fun, excitement, and art! Not only are we opening two new exhibitions, Like a Valentine: The Art of Jeffry Mitchell and Now Here is also Nowhere: Part I, but we are also throwing a museum-wide party! Come dressed in your conceptual best for the Student Henry Advisory Group’s Conceptual Costume Contest. Enjoy the sweet music of the UW Mariachi Band, Fainting Goats, and FBDC ~ ФБДЦ; Check out the FAN CLUB in the Study Center; eat some delicious babycakes courtesy of Cupcake Royale and enjoy libations from Pyramid Breweries. All of that PLUS installations of Public Health Poems by Rachel Kessler!

Rachel Kessler will premier her new poem cycle on public health posters installed in The Henry’s restrooms by sinks and in bathroom stalls.  Kessler will lead groups in hand-washing poetry usage, demonstrate hand washing technique, recite bathroom stall limericks, and sing sea shantys.  Each poem lasts approximately 30 seconds, the amount of time the department of health recommends lathering hands for.

 

PUBLIC HEALTH POEMS
About the project:

Remember how your preschool teacher instructed you to rub your soapy hands together for the entirety of the Happy Birthday song?  Now there is a poem for that.  While scrubbing in like surgeons, our minds and mouths deserve something more than that same old dreary song.

Rachel Kessler, a poet of the everyday, has composed a new poem cycle that will appear on bathroom stall doors, above urinals, and next to sinks in public restrooms. Posing as Employees Must Wash Hands Before Returning to Work signs and stall door advertisements, these poster poems will provide entertainment while imparting a useful earworm of knowledge.

She began writing her first anonymous protest poems on the bathroom stall walls in seventh grade, and has long been fascinated by graffiti art. Inspired by a collaboration several years ago with poet Pete Miller and their collective LOCCAL: League of Citizens Concerned About Literature, her work with homeless adults, and as a preschool teacher and parent, began trying her hand at School House Rock style poems for her kids to recite while scrubbing their hands at the sink.

Determined to put poetry in unlikely and non-traditional venues, her work explores the function and origin of poetry, not only as a mnemonic device, but as a way to reflect on the mundane, daily activities that comprise the majority of our hours. After a short residency in Rome researching ancient public health works, she collaborated with graffiti, nursery rhyme, fairy tales, health department propaganda to compose poems for hand-washing, poems for toilet use, poems for dental hygiene, poems for bathroom stall decisions.  Like the “Talking Fountains” of Rome, defaced statues where poets post anonymous political commentary, bathroom stalls are the original online comments.  Public restrooms, like phone booths, are one of the few public-private spaces where a citizen can find respite in a public place.

This project was funded by a City Artists award from the City of Seattle’s Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs.

 

About the Henry event:
Several Public Health Poems will be installed in the Henry restrooms by sinks and in bathroom stalls. Rachel Kessler will lead individuals and groups in handwashing-poetry usage in the restrooms via demonstrations, in impromptu bathroom stall limerick recitations, and in other public health poetic concerns.  Sea shantys will be sung in bathroom stalls.

 

BIO:

Rachel Kessler, co-founder of poetry-performance collaborations Typing Explosion and the Vis-à-Vis Society, is a writer and performer from Seattle.  Passionate about presenting poetry in non-traditional venues, she has performed interactive poetry in parks, on buses, in phonebooths, hair salons, and abandoned motels. She is visiting faculty and writer-in-residence at Centrum, a Whiteley Center Fellow with the University of Washington, a Jack Straw Writer, and senior writer-in-residence with Seattle Arts & Lectures.  She has performed at multiple times at the Seattle Art Museum, Bumbershoot, Night School at the Sorrento, Galapagos Art Space and Bowery Poetry Club in New York City.  Her poems have appeared in Tin House and the Monarch Review, and her text-based visual art is featured in The Open Daybook and Sea-Cat.

In summary, she’s a pretty rad lady. Make sure to spend some time in the loo at the Open House!