Newly Commissioned Works by International Contemporary Artists to Debut in Nashville as Part of Opening of Newest 21c Museum Hotel
Works by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Sebastiaan Bremer, and Adrian Grenier to be Installed Throughout 21c, Offering Visitors 24/7 Access to Major Works of Contemporary Art
New, site-specific works by Sebastiaan Bremer, Adrian Grenier, Yung Jake, and Rafael Lozano-Hemmer are among the major works by an international roster of artists that will go on view in Nashville this May. Commissioned by 21c Museum Hotels for its newest property, 21c Nashville, the multimedia works will be installed throughout the public and private spaces of the hotel. The works, which draw on themes as diverse as technology, pop culture, and the environment, reflect 21c’s mission to support and exhibit new work by established and emerging artists, and weave contemporary art into daily life. In the 11 years since its founding, 21c Museum Hotels has commissioned more than 50 site-specific projects that respond and contribute to the character and culture of the communities in which they are located.
Works commissioned for 21c Nashville are:
- Electronic artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s Bilateral Time Slicer Intermix, 2017 will use facial recognition software to record an image of each viewer who passes by on a screen. The image will then be cut in half and spliced with images of other visitors, in a shifting kaleidoscope of hybrid portraits, which will also appear on screens in the public restrooms.
- Sebastiaan Bremer, Yung Jake, and Adrian Grenier will transform guest suites through immersive works that variously incorporate sound installations, photographs, videos, and large-scale paintings. These experiential installations will invite guest participation, dissolving the barriers between art and the visitor found in a traditional museum space.
“For 21c Nashville, we wanted to commission works that reflect the city’s role as a nexus for makers and musicians,” said Chief Curator and Museum Director Alice Gray Stites. “The installations are immersive and interactive, encouraging visitors to engage on both an audio and visual level. Those installed in the hotel rooms incorporate sound elements in homage and counterpoint to Nashville’s rich music scene, while others reference current events, issues, and ideas, such as surveillance technology, social media, and celebrity culture.”
21c erases the boundaries found in a traditional museum, with curated exhibitions installed in dedicated galleries, as well as works of art featured in unexpected spaces. 21c Nashville will include site-specific commissioned works and temporary exhibitions installed in the Gray & Dudley restaurant, museum galleries, public restrooms, elevators, lobby, and in customized guest suites.
Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Bilateral Time Slicer Intermix
Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s Bilateral Time Slicer Intermix will be installed on a central screen in the corridor that leads to 21c’s public restrooms. Lozano-Hemmer creates platforms for public participation by upending the traditional use of technologies such as robotics, computerized surveillance, and telematic networks. For 21c he has created a work that features a biometric tracking system, which will find the axis of symmetry of visitors’ faces, record, and then split the image. With each new participant, videos will be recorded and pushed aside; when no one is viewing the work, the slices will close and rejoin, creating a procession of past recordings. Once inside the restroom, another screen will show the time slices recorded from recent participants, which it will shuffle and remix, creating hybrid portraits of those who have participated. The piece is inspired by time-lapse sculptures and masks that can be found in ancient traditions, like the Aztec three-faced masks, as well as by modern and contemporary artists, from Marcel Duchamp to Yoshitoshi Kanemaki.
Custom Suites and Rooms
- Sebastiaan Bremer’s Sanctuary 21c is an immersive work that will transform a guest suite, combining components of a music-recording studio with antique mirrors, tile work, urban signage, and Bremer’s own artwork. The resulting ‘sanctuary’ will break down barriers between art and music, art and life, and the artist and the audience, as guests become participants, able to make and record music. Sanctuary 21c is the latest evolution of Bremer’s installations in which he and his collaborators create studio space to make art and play and record music.
- Adrian Grenier’s multimedia, site-specific installation of photographs, prints, and video from the film Teenage Paparazzo, will explore the intersection of celebrity and identity. Teenage Paparrazo chronicles the relationship of a 14-year-old paparazzo Austin Visschedyk and actor Grenier. When Grenier decides to follow Visschedyk one night, he subsequently begins to realize the negative impact he is having on the teenager. Grenier’s installation will include a selection of artworks created in conjunction or relation to the film, made both by himself and other artists and collaborators. A series of films and videos, including Teenage Paparazzo, will be available on a dedicated monitor in the suite.
- Yung Jake, a Los Angeles-based artist who is best known for his rap videos that integrate hip-hop, technology, social media, and contemporary art, is designing custom digital wallpaper for a suite that will also feature three large paintings by Jake that combine found objects, painting, and digital imagery, to explore popular culture, technology, and identity today. A music video by Jake will also be presented in a custom-framed monitor installed on the floor, providing an immersive experience for viewers.
INSTALLATIONS AND EXHIBITIONS
Gray & Dudley
Menagerie at Gray & Dudley will include a series of ceramic sculptures by Beth Cavener Stichter, as well as photographs by Rodney Batista, Laura Lee Brown, Tim Flach, and Anthony Goicolea that depict animal imagery. Stichter’s ceramic sculptures combine human and animal traits, reflecting her fascination with both human and animal behavior and what she describes as her interest in reading meaning in the subtler signs and the slightest unconscious gestures. Among the works on view will be Stichter’s Spanish Feral Meat Goats, a sculptural series modeled on descendants of livestock brought to the United States in the 16th century, which depict figures caught in movement or conversation, as well as a selection of multi-hued figures from Stichter’s Emotions series, modeled after the four Greek humors.
Photographs from 21c co-founder Laura Lee Brown’s series Near and Far will be installed in every guest room. This body of work reflects a culmination of nearly 25 years of travel around the world, where Brown sought to capture the spirit and sensibility of the people and places she encountered. Brown’s photographs for 21c Nashville combine landscape imagery with scenes of everyday human interactions taking place all over the world. Works by Brown are featured in guest rooms at 21c Cincinnati, Bentonville, Durham, Lexington, and Oklahoma City.
Committed to integrating art into all facets of the visitor experience, 21c Nashville will include monitors installed in the elevators that feature a selection of videos from the 21c collection. The works offer non-linear, looping imagery that allows guests either a glimpse of contemporary art en route up or down, or a full viewing of three or more videos, should they choose to extend their ride. The inaugural selection will include Hiraki Sawa’s Migration (2003), Leslie Thornton’s Binocular Series (2012), and Scott Draves’s Red Universe 234 (2010).
Programming and engagement with the local community is central to 21c’s mission, and 21c Nashville will continue the ongoing program Elevate 21c, an exhibition program that features works by local artists. Dedicated exhibition spaces on each of the guest room floors will present works on loan from Nashville-based artists. The installations will change periodically, offering opportunities for a wide range of artists to share their work with a visiting audience, and creating a sense of place for guests. The Elevate program was introduced at 21c Cincinnati in 2012, and runs throughout the seven locations of 21c’s multi-venue museum.
Inaugural Exhibition — Truth or Dare: A Reality Show
21c Nashville will also feature a rotating schedule of curated exhibitions. The inaugural exhibition Truth or Dare: A Reality Show, will include painting, sculpture, photography, video, digital animation, and installations by more than 24 artists that layer fiction with fact, narrating both the complexity and the necessity for seeking and speaking the truth. Through works that simulate games, maps, sleights of the eye and hand, and draw on illusion, the exhibition will playfully and thoughtfully navigate the slippery terrain between fantasy and reality. Truth or Dare will include works by Leo Villareal, Shahzia Sikander, Serkan Özkaya, and Richard Mosse, among others. The exhibition highlights 21c’s commitment to using art as a lens through which to view important current events and issues, exploring the complicated nature of truth today.