EMPAC Awarded a Teiger Foundation Grant for Shifting Center, A Multi-Year Curatorial Project on the Architecture and Acoustics of Museums

Image: Beatriz Cortez, Study for Ilopango, The Volcano that Left, 2023. Composite Image. Courtesy the artist and Commonwealth and Council. Photo: Phillip Bryne.

April 17, 2023

EMPAC Awarded a Teiger Foundation Grant for Shifting Center, A Multi-Year Curatorial Project on the Architecture and Acoustics of Museums

The Exhibition to be Installed Throughout and Beyond the EMPAC Building Opens to the Public in Fall 2023

EMPAC/ the Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute received a $75,000 grant from Teiger Foundation for the exhibition Shifting Center (October 28–November 19, 2023), curated by Vic Brooks, Associate Director and Senior Curator of Time-Based Visual Art, and Nida Ghouse, Curator-in-Residence. Shifting Center stages the process of listening to infrasonic landscapes, acoustic architectures, and unsounded instruments. For the first time in a decade, EMPAC turns its concert halls, stages, and studios—which are tuned for acoustically-differentiated experiences of sounding and listening—into a series of exhibition spaces where existing and newly commissioned works of sculpture, moving-image, and sound are presented throughout and beyond its walls.

The exhibition will include works from Tania Candiani, Padmini Chettur and Maarten Visser, Beatriz Cortez, Guillermo Escalón and Igor de Gandarias, Cannupa Hanska Luger, Maurice Louca, and Clarissa Tossin, among others. The full line-up of the artists participating in the exhibition and more details on their commissioned artworks are released in the summer.

With the vital support of Teiger Foundation, and in partnership with the Storm King Art Center and the Vera List Center for Art and Politics at The New School, EMPAC co-commissioned Ilopango, the Volcano that Left by artist Beatriz Cortez, a sculpture which sets sail at the end of the artist’s exhibition at Storm King and makes its way up the Hudson River to Troy, NY on an open-air boat against the backdrop of late October foliage. Cortez’s sculpture makes stops along the way, where visitors are able to get on board to view the artwork, and arrives at EMPAC before Shifting Center’s opening day events (November 3). Filmmaker Guillermo Escalón documents the river journey for a future film.

EMPAC was awarded the grant as part of Teiger Foundation’s inaugural Call for Proposals, the first initiative of its kind to support the full spectrum of curatorial activities, which drew over 400 proposals. The new grantmaking program, designed to address gaps in funding for contemporary art curators, awarded $3.3 million to 39 curators and curatorial teams in the U.S, selected through a competitive process that included a review by an advisory group of peer curators as well as the Foundation's Board and staff. The full list of grantees can be found at teigerfoundation.org.

Shifting Center hopes to have a significant impact on how audiences think about sound in exhibitions, as well as the future of museum architecture and curatorial practices. Building on research funded by the Andy Warhol Foundation, the exhibition considers two opposing tendencies: dislocation—how objects, artworks, and cultural belongings are taken from their original context and silenced through the mechanisms of museological preservation and display; and location—how architecture and acoustics impact exhibitions as resonant spaces of situated listening.

“We are grateful to Teiger Foundation for their commitment to providing curators with the exceptional resources needed to conceive of ambitious and experimental projects within the evolving field of contemporary art and especially thrilled to be part of this brilliant Teiger cohort of curators,” says Vic Brooks.

“Their funding is allowing us to bring Shifting Center, which we’ve been working on for several years, to the public this Fall. We’re also excited to partner with two preeminent cultural institutions, the Storm King Art Center and the Vera List Center at The New School, in public opportunities that connect our audiences along New York State’s Hudson estuary from New York City to Troy, for the exhibition’s inauguration.”

Events Info
Shifting Center
October 28 – November 19, 2023

Hudson River Programs
October 28 – 29

Events and Broadcasts
October 28 – November 2

Shifting Center Opening Event & Press Preview
November 3, 2023

Curators: Vic Brooks, Nida Ghouse
EMPAC / Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center at Rensselaer
Troy, NY

Link: https://empac.rpi.edu/events/2023/shifting-center


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