The Marfa Sessions

Sounds Across Town : Marfa, Texas

About the Exhibition

The Marfa Sessions is a series of sound projects embedded within the public spaces and private corners of Marfa to create a sonic portrait of this unusual West Texas town. Ballroom Marfa, the exhibition’s headquarters, will feature a visitors center sound hub, hosting artworks and providing information and maps that point to the sound projects throughout the town. The eleven works in the exhibition include already extant pieces adapted for installation in public spaces throughout Marfa, and five new site-specific works specially commissioned by Ballroom Marfa and created by: KAFFE MATTHEWS; NINA KATCHADOURIAN; CHRISTINA KUBISCH; DEBORAH STRATMAN & STEVEN BADGETT; STEVE RODEN & STEPHEN VITIELLO; and STEVE ROWELL WITH SIMPARCH. In some cases artworks will occupy frequented public venues such as Marfa Book Company, the local grocery store and Marfa Public Radio airwaves; others will be discovered in natural settings near the outskirts of town.

Marfa, as a desert town, is a remote place by any standard. It is also a uniquely central destination and an historical confluence of various phenomena that include one of the world’s largest astronomical observatories–The McDonald Observatory, Big Bend National Park, The Marfa Lights, a U.S. border patrol station, The Chinati Foundation (also formerly a WWII military base), the Judd Foundation, as well as the filming locations for Giant, There Will Be Blood, and No Country for Old Men.

With site-specific works activating various locations across the town, and with the collaboration of the community, The Marfa Sessions aims to amplify the varied set of physical and metaphoric characteristics that define “Marfa” – its geopolitical position, local identity, myths, as well as its significant relationship to 20th Century Minimalism and Land Art. The Marfa Sessions seeks to call the ear to Marfa and its environs, noting the aural and conceptual depth and breadth of this complex setting.

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