On View: January 6 – February 19
The Barnes Foundation presents Unbounded Histories, a new site-specific project by Philadelphia artist Andrea Hornick and the first “sound intervention” in the Collection Gallery.
From January 6 through February 19, 2017, visitors can listen to several dozen original poems written in response to specific works, including Seurat’s Models and Van Gogh’s The Postman, while they explore the Barnes collection (the recording can be streamed on any web-enabled phone). Filled with mysterious, dream-like imagery, Hornick’s poems spring from what she describes as a shamanistic practice: working directly in the collection, the artist puts herself in a trance-like state letting the art lead her toward the stories and images that the mind normally keeps buried. The resulting juxtaposition of sound and sight aims to encourage visitors to consider works in the Barnes collection in a new way—as portals to the unconscious as well as historical objects. To complement the audio portion, video footage showing Hornick’s creative practice will be screened in the collection’s classrooms. Information about the project, including the URL, and headphones will be available outside the collection gallery for the duration of the project.
Unbounded Histories is made possible with support from the William Penn Foundation.
“We wanted to try something new in the Collection Gallery,” says Dr. Martha Lucy, Barnes deputy director for education & public programs and curator, who is curating this project. “Sound art allows us to put living artists in dialogue with the collection without making any changes to the physical space.”
Hornick sees the piece as “a collaboration with the renegade Dr. Barnes.” Her strange, deeply personal poems reframe traditional narratives of art history. “The piece plays with authority and authorship,” Hornick says. “Through a meditative practice in connection with art history, I upend expected interpretations, inviting creative, personal connections to the collection.” Hornick will do a brief performance at the Barnes on January 6 as part of First Friday.