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Active Archive | Martha McDonald Process + Performance

November 15, 2017 @ 11:00 am - 5:00 pm

 56 + 69 BROADWAY

Opening Reception: Friday, September 29, 5-7pm – Performance by Martha McDonald at 5:30 pm FREE

ACTIVE ARCHIVE is a stream of programs that pairs the museum’s extensive collection with contemporary artists, curators, and cultural thinkers. It launches with an exhibition featuring the museum’s permanent collection curated by Philadelphia-based interdisciplinary artist Martha McDonald.

McDonald brings the ideas of Black Mountain College alive through an exhibition of artwork and ephemera from BMCM+AC’s collection and an installation and live performance drawing on the rich history of experimental performance at BMC.  The exhibition, across both galleries, focuses on the importance of color, process, and material exploration at BMC. It includes student color studies from Josef Albers’ influential Werklehre courses; paintings, sculptures, textiles, and ceramics by BMC faculty and students reflecting this legacy of material and color study; and a selection of idiosyncratic, hand-printed programs highlighting the history of collaborative performance at BMC.

McDonald’s performance will activate her installation of objects and costumes inspired by Xanti Schawinsky’s 1936-37 experimental theater piece, Spectodrama, which formed the basis of his Stage Studies course at BMC. McDonald’s performance features music inspired by John Evarts’ collaborations with Schawinsky at BMC from 1936-38.

Support for this project has been generously provided by the following: Henry Luce Foundation, North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Windgate Charitable Foundation. Special thanks to Bill Adair and Connie Bostic.

Photo: Xanti Schawinsky, Untitled, n.d., painting and pencil on print, 26 x 17.625 inches. Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center Collection. Gift of Brian E. Butler.

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November 15, 2017
11:00 am - 5:00 pm


Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center
120 College Street
Ashville, NC 28801 United States
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(828) 350-8484