Strange Pilgrims: The Art of Installation

A collaboration with The Contemporary Austin is drawing art lovers to campus.

Strange Pilgrims Trisha Baga 4pm on a Sunday
Trisha Baga, 4pm on a Sunday, 2015. Mixed media video installation. Installation view, Strange Pilgrims, organized by The Contemporary Austin, on view at the Visual Arts Center at The University of Texas at Austin, 2015. Artwork © Trisha Baga. Courtesy the artist and Greene Naftali, New York. All images courtesy of the Visual Arts Center. All photographs by Sandy Carson.

Tucked next to Darrell K Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium, the Visual Arts Center (VAC) is becoming an Austin art destination. Part of the Department of Art and Art History, the gallery space is already known in the university art community for being a creative hub where contemporary art and education intersect.

Strange Pilgrims, Ayse Erkmen "3DN"

Ayşe Erkmen, 3DN, 2015. Textile installation. 27 feet x 40 feet 6 inches x 47 feet 4 inches. Installation view, Strange Pilgrims, organized by The Contemporary Austin, on view at the Visual Arts Center at The University of Texas at Austin, 2015. Artwork © Ayşe Erkmen. Courtesy the artist and Galerie Barbara Weiss, Berlin.
Strange Pilgrims, Ayse Erkmen "3DN" 2

A view from underneath Ayse Erkmen's work 3DN on display at the VAC on campus.

 

 

The VAC provides hands-on experience for students in presenting work, curating exhibits and maintaining traveling installations.

Rachel Stuckey, a third-year MFA student, is in charge of running an historic film installation piece from 1976 by Paul Shartis called Dream Displacement, currently on display at the VAC. The installation is four 16 mm films projected simultaneously in continuous loop.

“Within the gallery context it looks like a painting, in terms of its scale and orientation,” says Stuckey. “I enjoy coming in totally in the dark and just getting everything running and then the room becomes illuminated by the work.”

Get a behind-the-scenes view of Rachel Stuckey's work on Dream Displacement.

 

Dream Displacement came to the VAC as part of a citywide experiential art exhibit called Strange Pilgrims, curated by The Contemporary Austin. The exhibit brings together a collection of installations and experiential art in three locations: the VAC, the Jones Center downtown and Laguna Gloria in West Austin. Viewers are encouraged to explore each destination.

Strange Pilgrims Sofía Táboas "Floral Beginning in Circular Time"

Sofía Táboas, Floral Beginning in Circular Time, 2015. Plastic tape, foam, fabric, marble, stone, clay lattice, earthenware and ceramic bricks, cement, wood, aluminum, copper, steel, glass, synthetic fiber, plaster, wax, resin, silicone, metal springs, artificial grass, adocreto, vinyl, wood veneer, brick, metal paint, metal coatings, vinyl tile, carpet, wire mesh, brass, type, enamel paint, sanding, PVC pipe, paper, acrylic, and hose. Dimensions variable. Installation view, Strange Pilgrims, organized by The Contemporary Austin, on view at the Visual Arts Center at The University of Texas at Austin, 2015. Artwork © Sofía Táboas. Courtesy the artist and kurimanzutto, Mexico City.
Strange Pilgrims Charles Atlas "Plato's Alley"

Charles Atlas, Plato’s Alley (from Tornado Warning), 2015. Single-channel video projection and site-specific architectural installation, silent. Dimensions variable. Running time: 6:38. Installation view, Strange Pilgrims, organized by The Contemporary Austin, on view at the Visual Arts Center at The University of Texas at Austin, 2015. Artwork © Charles Atlas. Courtesy the artist; Luhring Augustine, New York; and Vilma Gold, London.

 

 

Watch a report on PBS Newshour about Strange Pilgrims.

“It is the Contemporary’s first large-scale, thematic group exhibition and represents the museum’s most expansive gesture into the city of Austin,” notes the museum’s website.

In addition to Dream Displacement the VAC is showing works by Yoko Ono, Ayşe Erkmen, Sofía Táboas, Trisha Baga and others.

Strange Pilgrims is on view until Jan. 24.

Strange Pilgrims Exhibition Support: The Contemporary Austin Vision Fund Leaders, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Suzanne Deal Booth, Lannan Foundation, The Moody Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Vision Fund Leaders and Contributors