Annual Art Show “AURORA” Moves to Drive-Thru Showings

November 10, 2020

Aurora Biennial “Aurora” is a biennial art show featuring some of the world’s most respected multimedia artists in Dallas. AURORA will unfold over the next year in a new decentralized program format, kicking off with projects by artists Marina Rosenfeld and Jess Garland. The show labeled, “Afterwards was already before” was created in response to worldwide changes induced by the COVID-19 pandemic. The format of AURORA’s Biennial will include socially distanced and digital projects curated by Noam Segal and Associate Curators Tamara Johnson and Trey Burns. Audiences will experience each portion of the show as they drive through Laz Parking Garage on Ross.

AURORA includes the world premiere of Marina Rosenfeld’s newly commissioned sound installation and performance ‘Ssalute’. Rosenfeld’s work is Brooklyn based composer and artist whose work has been presented by the Park Avenue Armory, the Museum of Modern Art, the Kitchen, the Whitney Museum of American Art and Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (all New York City), the Serralves Foundation (Porto, Portugal), and festivals and biennials throughout Europe, the US, Canada and Australia, including two Whitney Biennials, the 2016  Montreal Biennial and documenta14’s audio program and Donaueschinger Musiktage, both in 2017.

When asked about what she hopes an audience will gain from experiencing ‘Ssalute’ Rosenfeld said, “I hope it will be different, even startling, to experience a moment of address or exchange with a stranger, and in a very familiar site— a parking structure— that has been made a little strange by the radical way I have treated it sonically, by making it resonate.”

The goal of “Afterwards was already before” and “Ssalute” is about a sense of temporary yet distant publicness that some the changes induced by Covid-19 have induced many of us to experience. Rosenfeld remarks that the concept of “Ssalute” speaks to this sense of distant yet temporary, through the sheer nature in which its presented, “Ssalute brackets its offer of an experience in very strict conditions. It is brief, it is scheduled around isolated visitors, [and] it has to be “safe.”

“Ssalute manifests visually in a couple of sites in Dallas (a sign on the roof of the parking structure, a billboard on a vacant wall in Downtown Dallas) as an image, without sound or bodies or performance or really — explanation. The image is speculative— it suggests a shape to the sound of the trumpet or the breath coming out of the trumpet.

I hope it provokes curiosity or unsettles any easy understanding of what is at stake in the piece. My subject matter is ultimately common space and its precarity, the possibilities or not of being together.”

Jess Garland, prominent Dallas-based mixed media artist and founder of Swan Strings, will also be participating in Aurora with her project titled “Harp and Sol”. Garland’s project focuses on pollution in South Dallas and feminism from an African-American woman’s perspective.

Jess Garland

Garland has created this project in a collaborative effort with Southern Sector Rising, a non-profit organization in Dallas focused on removing pollution from the South Dallas area. Locals know the center of the South Dallas pollution problem is a place known to locals as “Shingle Mountain”.

For three years, a company called Blue Star Recycling dumped hundreds of tons of roof shingles in a vacant lot close to many homes. The company created a pile so large it resembled a mountain. Blue Star claimed it was saving the material from heading to a nearby landfill, but in truth, the company illegally dumped their trash in the founder of Southern Sector Rising’s backyard.

Garland says “Harp and Sol” will focus on the problem of systematic racism that Dallas government refuses to address, “racism unfortunately isn’t anything new. The themes focus on cyclicality, repetition and loops. There is a history of racism in Dallas that is repeating itself and manifesting into things like Shingle Mountain and police brutality, etc. I hope to be able to show this in film and through my musical composition experimental style of looping.”

In addition, Garland hopes that the people of Dallas will advocate and vote for change, “I hope that something like Shingle Mountain never happens again. I hope that people no longer disregard black women when we are speaking.” “Harp and Sol” will involve ritualized aspects and symbolism that will include sounds from the land and the sun.

“Ssalute” will be available until Nov. 15th. Please head to to make a reservation.

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