Hirshhorn Announces Fourth Season of Free Online Artist Talks, a Series Enjoyed by Over 22,000 Viewers So Far, March 17–May 26

Marking One Year Since Museum Went Virtual, New “Talking to Our Time” Lineup Features Charles Gaines, Catherine Opie and Deana Lawson
March 17, 2021
News Release

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Portraits of six people

Diana Al-Hadid, photo by Lisa DeLong; Jacolby Satterwhite, portrait by photographer Sam Waxman; Teresita Fernandez, photo: Natalia Mantini, courtesy of the artist and Lehmann Maupin, New York, Hong Kong, Seoul and London; Catherine Opie, photo credit: Heather Rasmussen; Riva Lehrer, courtesy of the artist; Charles Gaines, © Charles Gaines, courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth, photo: Fredrik Nilsen.

The Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden has announced the spring season for “Talking to Our Time,” its series of free online public discussions with global artists, March 17–May 26. This announcement marks one year since the museum became virtual in response to COVID-19. The program, which started as a summer series in July 2020, is the first time the museum has hosted conversations with artists consecutively every week. Together with Hirshhorn curators and acclaimed moderators, digital audiences from around the world can engage with renowned creatives and join the crucial conversations happening on a global scale. The upcoming spring season of “Talking to Our Time” will stream 11 live talks, highlighting a diverse group of artists and collectives: Diana Al-Hadid, Teresita Fernández, Charles Gaines, Rachel Harrison, Deana Lawson, Riva Lehrer, Catherine Opie, Jacolby Satterwhite, Michelle Stuart, Danh Vō and Anicka Yi.

“Talking to Our Time” is one of multiple ongoing efforts to share artworks and artists with the largest possible virtual audience during the museum’s prolonged closure. The spring schedule comes on the heels of engaging summer, fall and winter seasons, totaling 22 events viewed by over 22,000 people from around the world. By making artists’ voices available online, the Hirshhorn aims to share the transformative power of art with larger and more varied communities, forming a network that connects artists and audiences around the world.

Each “Talking to Our Time” program will take place live on the Hirshhorn’s YouTube channel, Facebook Live and Zoom. Registration is required for Zoom participation, which includes the chance (time permitting) to ask the artist a question at the end of the program. Recordings are available on YouTube after the event. For each program, American Sign Language (ASL) translation will be available on Zoom and communication access real-time translation (CART) will be provided across all platforms. Any questions about accessibility for this series can be sent to hirshhornexperience@si.edu.

(At Home) On Art and Systems: Artist Talk With Charles Gaines
Wednesday, March 17; 7 p.m. ET
Free, registration required for Zoom. Live stream also available on YouTube and Facebook Live.
Charles Gaines will join Hirshhorn senior curator Evelyn Hankins to discuss his expansive practice questioning systems of meaning and representation, as well as his longtime tenure as a faculty member at California Institute of the Arts in Los Angeles. Gaines is a pioneering figure in conceptual art, with almost 50 years creating widely celebrated works that employ self-determined formulas and procedures to interrogate the limits of representation, language and identity politics. Initially recognized for mathematical- and grid-based works on paper, Gaines has expanded his practice in recent decades to include sound, installation and performance as he continues to mine the possibilities of artworks premised not in self-expression, but rather in methodical systems and processes.

(At Home) On Art and Exploration: Artist Talk With Michelle Stuart
Wednesday, March 24; 7 p.m. ET
Free, registration required for Zoom. Live stream also available on YouTube and Facebook Live.
Michelle Stuart will join Hirshhorn assistant curator Betsy Johnson to discuss her extensive practice exploring the role that landscape and natural materials play in shaping personal and collective memory. Often characterized as an artist-explorer, Stuart is internationally recognized as a pioneer of land art, offering a perspective grounded in personal experience, travel, curiosity and wonder. Stuart’s work stands apart from that of other land artists of her generation in its anti-monumentality. Rather than carving into the earth or building upon it, she adopted a philosophy of treading lightly and leaving few permanent traces in the landscape.

(At Home) In and Around America: Artist Talk With Catherine Opie
Wednesday, March 31; 7 p.m. ET
Free, registration required for Zoom. Live stream also available on YouTube and Facebook Live.
On the heels of America’s most recent transfer of presidential power, Catherine Opie will join Hirshhorn associate curator Anne Reeve to revisit her 2009 series and discuss the role of photography in both creating and undoing our sense of self-hood—as both individuals and citizens. When people think of America, what do they see? For more than three decades, renowned photographer Opie has turned a careful and attentive eye towards the imaging of the United States, its citizens and communities, traditions and landscapes.

(At Home) On Art and Representation: Artist Talk With Riva Lehrer
Wednesday, April 7; 7 p.m. ET
Free, registration required for Zoom. Live stream also available on YouTube and Facebook Live.
Riva Lehrer will join Hirshhorn assistant curator Sandy Guttman to explore the intersection of art and representation through her powerful portraits and to discuss and read from her 2020 memoir, Golem Girl. Representations of historically marginalized people across the media, the arts and society tend to be few and far between—a resounding absence that the artist, writer and curator Lehrer has spent her artistic practice rectifying. Building on her own experiences, Lehrer’s bodies of work are informed by the rich disability and LGBTQIA+ communities to which she belongs while steeped in the art historical tradition of portraiture.

(At Home) Artist Talk With Danh Vō
Wednesday, April 14; 12 p.m. ET
Free, registration required for Zoom. Live stream also available on YouTube and Facebook Live.
Danh Vō will join Hirshhorn curator-at-large Gianni Jetzer to discuss the role that objects can play in defining and interrogating cultural heritage. Vō makes powerful use of fragments—fragments of objects and fragments of stories—to explore issues of self-identity and cultural heritage. His early experiences of fleeing political tensions in Vietnam with his family and assimilating into European culture in Denmark left a lasting impression that form the foundation of his practice.

(At Home) On Art and Everyday Life: Artist Talk With Rachel Harrison
Wednesday, April 21; 12 p.m. ET
Free, registration required for Zoom. Live stream also available on YouTube and Facebook Live.
Rachel Harrison will be joined in conversation by art history professor Darby English, author of the catalog essay “A Way Beyond Art” for the 2019 Whitney Museum exhibition “Rachel Harrison Life Hack.” Harrison and English will discuss her work “Pretty Discreet,” in the Hirshhorn collection, as it first appeared in the 2004 exhibition “Latka/Latkas” at Greene Naftali, in addition to her more recent installations. Harrison’s work combines art historical and pop cultural references through an eclectic use of materials. Her sculptures appear at once carefully constructed and arbitrarily arranged, using humor to create an open-ended and thought-provoking experience for the viewer.

(At Home) On Art and Eco-Trauma: Artist Talk With Teresita Fernández
Wednesday, April 21; 7 p.m. ET
Free, registration required for Zoom. Live stream also available on YouTube and Facebook Live.
Teresita Fernández will join Hirshhorn associate curator Marina Isgro to discuss how she brings together concepts, materials, rigorous research and evocative imagery. The Cuban American artist, based in New York, creates immersive, sculptural installations and monumental public projects defined by a rethinking of landscape that emphasizes the connection between place and material. Using gold, malachite, graphite, ironore and other minerals that have loaded ties to colonization, she exposes the hidden histories of violence embedded in the landscape. Her subtle, conceptual practice is characterized by a quiet unraveling of site, power, visibility and erasure in which she layers diverse cultural references to unearth what she calls “stacked landscapes.”

(At Home) On Art and Other Senses: Artist Talk With Anicka Yi
Wednesday, May 5; 7 p.m. ET
Free, registration required for Zoom. Live stream also available on YouTube and Facebook Live.
Anicka Yi will join Hirshhorn associate curator Anne Reeve for an important exploration into the artist’s groundbreaking conceptual work highlighting key intersections of art, science and humanity. Over the past year, many of people have wondered how art fits into their lives as a new virus has swept across the world. Yi, an artist who explores the link between art and science, is uniquely situated to consider this question with her background in microbial research and an intense interest in anxieties born from hygiene and disease.

(At Home) On Art and the Improbable: Artist Talk With Diana Al-Hadid
Wednesday, May 12; 7 p.m. ET
Free, registration required for Zoom. Live stream also available on YouTube and Facebook Live.
Diana Al-Hadid will join Charlotte Burns to discuss her work for the U.S. Embassy in addition to her experimental practice. The artist has described her practice as “getting a material to misbehave.” Her sculptures and wall panels draw influence from her Middle Eastern heritage and her interests in experimenting with materials, ultimately melding cultures, art histories, physics and architecture.

(At Home) On Art and Worldbuilding: Artist Talk With Jacolby Satterwhite
Wednesday, May 19; 7 p.m. ET
Free, registration required for Zoom. Live stream also available on YouTube and Facebook Live.
Jacolby Satterwhite will join Hirshhorn associate curator Marina Isgro for a look into the personal stories, artistic references and critical perspectives behind the artist’s dizzyingly rich moving image installations. The conceptual artist creates epic imagined worlds using digital animation, virtual reality, sculpture, choreography and performance, dubbed “wildly ingenious” by The New Yorker. He draws on the visual language of video games, Afrofuturism, queer theory and his own familial archive to create moving image installations that explore issues of labor, sexuality and fantasy.

(At Home) Artist Talk With Deana Lawson
Wednesday, May 26; 7 p.m. ET
Free, registration required for Zoom. Live stream also available on YouTube and Facebook Live.
More information to come.

About the Hirshhorn

The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden is the national museum of modern and contemporary art and a leading voice for 21st-century art and culture. Part of the Smithsonian, the Hirshhorn is located prominently on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Its holdings encompass one of the most important collections of postwar American and European art in the world. The Hirshhorn presents diverse exhibitions and offers an array of public programs on the art of our time—free to all. The Hirshhorn Museum’s outdoor sculpture garden is open daily 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. The museum and plaza are currently closed due to COVID-19. For more information, visit hirshhorn.si.edu. Follow the museum on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

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