In a partnership with the European Union, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden will be open for a free “after-hours” event on Friday, April 21, featuring a range of visual and performing artists from nine EU nations.
Billed as a celebration of the importance of artistic expression in a post-pandemic society, this State of the Arts Night showcase will allow guests to see and explore art and interact with artists responding to pressing issues of our time, from climate change to gender, democracy to war.
The one-night-only showcase will feature performances, digital projections, and augmented-reality activations on the Hirshhorn’s outdoor plaza, plus a series of moderated panel discussions with artists and administrators in the Hirshhorn’s indoor auditorium.
Visitors can also view the museum’s exhibitions throughout the evening, which will also feature cash bars and complimentary light appetizers furnished by the EU.
The schedule includes multiple live performances by the jazz-rooted multi-genre French harpist Isabelle Olivier as well as the U.S.-based guitar duo of Estêvão Santos & Guillermo-Juan Christine, plus a range of first-person stories shared by young people from around the world collected as part of the Swedish-led, Greta Thunberg-inspired global performance project We Hear You — A Climate Archive.
Also on tap is The Allegory of Ukraine, a short, unconventional theatrical performance from French multimedia and multi-disciplinary painter and “trashion/eco-designer” Isagus Extroversions; Solo by the table, a pandemic-born work from Swedish/Polish dancer and choreographer Lidia Wos; and Swamp Observatory, an augmented-reality piece from Urbonas Studio, an interdisciplinary practice founded by Lithuanian artists and educators Nomeda and Gediminas Urbonas.
The evening concludes with an hour-long DJ set by Gotopo, an “ancestral futurist” artist based in Berlin but originally from South America, focused on “blurring the line between classical and club music, academic and pop culture.”
The plaza will also be the site for installations including The Four Seasons of Ukraine by French artist Isagus Extroversions and A Digital Identity, a technology-driven work of conceptual art developed in a collaboration between American new media artist Reed Griffith and German software engineer Ulrich Norbisrath.
The lineup of discussions include:
“Art x Times of Crisis,” an artists panel featuring Isagus Extroversions from France and painter Agnieszka Pilat from Poland and moderated by Guiomar Ochoa of the National Endowment for the Arts.
“Art x Reimagining Democracy,” a panel with curator Lígia Afonso from Portugal, artist/city planner Andrea Limauro from Italy, and Gediminas Urbonas from Lithuania, as moderated by Megan Beyer of the U.S. State Department.
“Art x Female Empowerment,” a discussion with Isabelle Olivier from France, Gotopo from Germany, and visual artist Anna U Davis from Sweden, as moderated by Kate Lemay of the National Portrait Gallery.
“Art x Climate Activism,” with interdisciplinary artist Sari Nordman from Finland, Jaanika Peerna from Estonia, and Jacob Hirdwell of Sweden’s The Royal Theater, Stockholm, plus moderator Alicia Adams of the Kennedy Center.
Friday, April 21, from 6 to 10:30 p.m. at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Independence Avenue and Seventh Street SW. Tickets are free but space is limited so advance reservation is recommended. Visit www.hirshhorn.si.edu or call 202-633-1000.
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