ASU Art Museum, ASU Library present Visual LIT series

Collaboration brings together visual artists interested in exploring different aspects of the library

April 4, 2017

Visual LIT is a collaboration between the ASU Library and the ASU Art Museum that brings together visual artists interested in exploring different aspects of the library — from antique books to future modes of communication. The four participating artists are Fiamma Montezemolo, Euan Macdonald, Zhou Tao and Faivovich & Goldberg. 

The first installation is Fiamma Montezemolo’s project “Neon Afterwords,” which was exhibited in the C2 Upper Concourse from March 20 to 31 and her video installation “Rastos/Traces,” which will be exhibited underneath the south stairway on the first floor from April 5 to May 31.  Fiamma Montezemolo, "Neon Afterwords." Fiamma Montezemolo's "Neon Afterwords" is the first artwork in ASU's Visual LIT series. Download Full Image

“Neon Afterwords” is an immersive installation, in which seven sentences, written in fluorescent LED blue light tubes, float at different heights in the dark space of a room. The sentences are extracted from Borges' short story "The Anthropologist" (1969). In an adjacent room, three books containing the mentioned story are exhibited with the key LED sentences redacted with a blue tape. The story is therefore disseminated in different spaces. 

Thanks to her double training as artist and anthropologist, Montezemolo reflects more on the central moment of an anthropologist's formation: the fieldwork. This piece carries an additional reference to the use of neon light in the typical space of artistic Italian research in the Post-War era, from the famous neon arabesque by Lucio Fontana for the Triennale of 1951 to Mario Merz's Igloo. The piece “Neon Afterwords” was originally produced by the Italian Cultural Institute of San Francisco in the cycle Mapping the City, curated by Marina Pugliese. 

“Rastros/Traces” is an experimental video essay based on the border life between the United States and Mexico. Shot in a span of 24 hours, the video examines the border wall that separates Tijuana and San Diego. Images of a rusty wall, unruly topography, decaying surveillance structures, furtive moments of undocumented migrant crossings and dystopian landscapes are interwoven with a mournful voice-over enunciated from a different time and place.

In recent times, libraries have been conscientiously building collections that respond to the changing needs and demands of their communities. Visual LIT attempts to continue this trajectory with a new focus on what is traditionally known in the library as a pathfinder — someone who gathers information in a specific location or area of study within a library. Artists will adopt this role and creatively help guide specific research topics, or, in art terms, site-specific research, to the location of the library. By bringing installation in video, sculpture and sound, they will conceive new experiences for library-goers that allow interconnectivity between the written word and the visual language.

This exhibition is supported by the Italian Cultural Institute of San Francisco and Mapping the City. 

Communications Program Coordinator, ASU Art Museum


Lyric Opera Theatre’s new works reading series lands students at national festival

March 31, 2017

Several ASU School of Music students are slated to participate in the 2017 National Women’s Music Festival in Wisconsin this summer following the success of the ASU Lyric Opera Theatre’s new works reading of “BABE: An Olympian Musical,” a musical composed by an ASU alum and based on the first American female Olympic athlete Babe Didrikson.

The Lyric Opera Theatre’s presentation of “BABE” in November was its first installment of a new works reading series at the ASU Kerr Cultural Center. For the first reading of the new series, the Lyric Opera Theatre chose a work composed by an alum, Andrea Jill Higgins. Higgins and award-winning playwright Carolyn Gage, who wrote the book and lyrics for “BABE,” were in residence with the Lyric Opera Theatre for a one-week workshop of the piece, which has had previous workshops with Arizona Women's Theatre Company and Theatre Unbound in Minneapolis. ASU Lyric Opera Theatre new works reading The success of ASU Lyric Opera Theatre's new works reading of “BABE: An Olympian Musical” in November led to students participating the presentation of "BABE" at the 2017 National Women's Music Festival. Download Full Image

“BABE” will receive a full concert reading with orchestra at the 2017 National Women's Music Festival in Wisconsin this summer. During the reading in the fall, the composer and librettist selected two ASU students, Ali Wood, a senior in musical theatre, and Melanie Holm, second-year doctoral student in voice, to reprise their roles in the professional workshop at NWMF. 

The new works series continues at ASU Kerr this Sunday, April 2 with a reading of Ellen Reid's and Roxie Perkins' experimental opera “PRISM,” produced by Lyric Opera Theatre alum Beth Morrison, who was hailed by the Wall Street Journal as "a 21st century Diaghilev" and listed among Musical America's 30 Innovators in 2016. Morrison and the creative team for “PRISM” are in residence with the students for one week. The public reading will include a Creative Response Process with audience participants facilitated by Herberger Institute Professor Liz Lerman.

Following the success of its first reading, the ASU Lyric Opera Theatre in the Herberger Institute plans to continue its new works series at ASU Kerr Cultural Center for the 2017–2018 season.