Hirshhorn Continues Weekly Series of Free Online Artist Talks Into 2021

Museum’s Winter Season of “Talking to Our Time” Includes Renowned Global Artists Including the Guerrilla Girls and Rachel Rose
January 27, 2021
News Release

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Talking To Our Time graphic with image of three women dressed in gorilla masks

Guerrilla Girls at the Abrons Art Center, 2015. Photo © Andrew Hinderaker

The Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden will continue “Talking to Our Time,” its series of free online public discussions with global artists, through the winter, Jan. 27–Feb. 24. The extended 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, digital audiences from around the world can engage with renowned creatives and join the crucial conversations happening on a global scale. The upcoming winter season of “Talking to Our Time” will stream five live talks, highlighting a diverse group of artists and collectives: the Guerrilla Girls, Liz Larner, Jorge Pardo, Paul Pfeiffer and Rachel Rose.

“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 winter “Talking to Our Time” schedule comes on the heels of engaging fall and summer seasons. A total of nearly 9,000 art lovers tuned in from around the world and over 12,000 viewers to date have watched the program recordings. 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. Communication access real-time translation (CART) is provided for each program. Any questions about accessibility for this series can be sent to hirshhornexperience@si.edu.

(At Home) On Art and ‘Behaving Badly’: Artist Talk with the Guerrilla Girls

Wednesday, Jan. 27; 7 p.m. ET

Free, registration required for Zoom. Live stream also available on YouTube and Facebook Live.

The Guerrilla Girls will join Hirshhorn assistant curator Sandy Guttman to discuss the ongoing task of performing as the “conscience of the art world” and the issues they see as most important to address today. Since the 1980s, the Guerrilla Girls have served as a bedrock of activism in art, producing data-driven, highly visible and often humorous projects that expose biases in the art world, including at the Hirshhorn. The collective is known for their intentional anonymity, wearing gorilla masks and operating under pseudonyms of deceased female artists to obscure their identities. Their unwavering advocacy for equal representation in museums, galleries and other arts organizations and for fighting against human rights violations has expanded over the years from revealing gender and racial inequities to addressing issues of homelessness, equal pay, sexual harassment, health care and environmentalism. The book, Guerrilla Girls: The Art of Behaving Badly, was released in 2020. The Guerrilla Girls’ “Portfolio Compleat,” including a recently approved acquisition to upgrade the “Portfolio,” is in the Hirshhorn’s permanent collection, and a selection of posters from the original “Portfolio” were included in recent exhibitions “Manifesto: Art x Agency”and “Brand New: Art and Commodity in the 1980s.”

(At Home) Artist Talk with Jorge Pardo

Wednesday, Feb. 3; 7 p.m. ET

Free, registration required for Zoom. Live stream also available on YouTube and Facebook Live.

Artist Jorge Pardo joins artist and curator Rafa Domenech to discuss his recent work and projects as well as his proposal for the U.S. Consulate in Merida, Mexico, a project he is designing in partnership with the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Art in Embassies.

(At Home) On Art and its Ecologies: Artist Talk with Liz Larner

Wednesday, Feb. 10; 7 p.m. ET

Free, registration required for Zoom. Live stream also available on YouTube and Facebook Live.

Liz Larner will join Hirshhorn associate curator Anne Reeve to discuss her current thinking and ongoing practice and the artist’s role in facing the charged and changing times. Larner is among the most influential sculptors working today, with an idiosyncratic practice that defies definition but can be characterized by its insistent thoughtfulness and relentless experimentation. Working across style and materials, from ceramics and steel to cloth and even bacteria, Larner constantly employs new forms to investigate the histories, realities and possibilities of sculpture. Her earliest work examined the aesthetics of decay through a series of works involving live cultures in petri dishes, which she then photographed. More recently, she has become increasingly attentive to the tenuous yet evocative realities of the Anthropocene age that people now inhabit, and her sculptures have explored the many personal, structural and geologic ecologies that continually unmake and remake the world. Simultaneously attuned to the histories of art, Larner invites the viewer to renegotiate their perceptions of matter, space and self.

(At Home) On Art and the Human Experience: Artist Talk with Rachel Rose

Wednesday, Feb. 17; 7 p.m. ET

Free, registration required for Zoom. Live stream also available on YouTube and Facebook Live.

Rachel Rose will join Hirshhorn curator-at-large Gianni Jetzer to discuss the research behind and development of her deeply moving and important work in video art. For the past few years, celebrated video artist Rachel Rose has been at the forefront of new conversations around what video art can be. Addressing topics ranging from the American Revolutionary War to 17th-century witchcraft and investigating cryogenics to exploring the sensory experience of being in space, Rose’s wide-ranging work probes the inherent nature of what it means to be human, now and across generations. The videos are created after in-depth research and placed in environments designed by the artist to create a fully immersive experience. Rose’s celebrated work “Lake Valley,” a showstopping highlight of the 2017 Venice Biennale that explores the fears of adulthood through the visual language of children’s book illustrations, was the focus of an online solo exhibition with the Carnegie Museum of Art in summer 2020.

(At Home) On Art and Spectacle: Artist Talk with Paul Pfeiffer

Wednesday, Feb. 24; 7 p.m. ET

Free, registration required for Zoom. Live stream also available on YouTube and Facebook Live.

Paul Pfeiffer will join Hirshhorn associate curator Marina Isgro to discuss his process behind creating videos and photographs that force people to pause and see elements of the world that might otherwise pass them by. Working with footage drawn from the world of sports, Hollywood films, game shows and other events intended for popular consumption, Hawaii-born artist Pfeiffer investigates the role that the mass media plays in shaping collective human consciousness. His digitally manipulated videos and photographs show people how they perceive the world around them and what they might be missing. Pfeiffer’s “Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (8),” which is in the Hirshhorn’s permanent collection, recasts the image of a lone basketball player reaching toward the sky. The other players, lights and advertisements that surrounded him have been digitally removed, and only a distant crowd remains to watch as he leaps up, stretching into darkness. Pfeiffer reimagines a fleeting moment in a fast-paced game as a surreal, still image, one that reveals the laborious effort of a human body as it reaches for the heavens.

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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