Genius / 21 Century / Seattle

September 26, 2015 — January 10, 2016
Frye Art Museum

Genius is an unprecedented, large-scale celebration of exceptional multidisciplinary and collaborative artistic practice in Seattle in the twenty-first century. It features over sixty-five visual artists, filmmakers, writers, theater artists, composers, musicians, choreographers, dancers, and arts organizations, and more than forty events.

Genius has no limiting paradigm. It relinquishes the idea of an exhibition that does not change, that has a beginning and an end, and embraces instead the idea of a living exhibition that is in constant transformation.

During the sixteen weeks of the exhibition, Genius features twenty-five commissions and premieres, immersive installations, durational performances, and collaborations across disciplines, and also presents film and literary festivals. A specially designed, shape-shifting environment in the Frye’s largest gallery space will host live music, dance and theater performances, literary readings, video exhibitions, public forums, and rehearsals.

The installations, works of art, performances, workshops, events, and festivals in Genius offer a variety of perspectives on the social, political, and cultural flux shaping Seattle and the global community. They address the complexities, discrepancies, and contradictions of issues such as unrestrained urban growth, social and racial inequity, and the threat of natural catastrophe.Genius expresses the shared concerns of the artists and citizens of Seattle while imagining alternative visions for the future.

Artists participating in Genius were selected by leading arts writers and the Seattle artistic community to be recipients of The Stranger Genius Award. The Frye Art Museum is itself a recipient. Genius continues the Frye’s inquiry into the role of the museum in the twenty-first century and its place in the cultural and intellectual life of the city.

Among the distinguished artists, collaborative groups, and organizations participating in Genius are (in alphabetical order): Sherman Alexie, Sarah Bergmann, Matt Briggs, Rebecca Brown, Drew Christie, Web Crowell, Valerie Curtis-Newton, Robinson Devor, Steven Fisk, Ellen Forney, Frye Art Museum, Lori Goldston, Wynne Greenwood, Megan Griffiths, Gary Groth, Yussef El Guindi, Victoria Haven, Lesley Hazleton, Implied Violence, Industrial Revelation, C. Davida Ingram, The Intelligence, Chris Jeffries, Marya Sea Kaminski, Eyvind Kang, Ben Kasulke, Jessika Kenney, Lead Pencil Studio, Susie J. Lee, Stacey Levine, James Longley, Heather McHugh, Jeffry Mitchell, Zia Mohajerjasbi, Cary Moon, Charles Mudede, Paul Mullin, On the Boards, John Olson, John Osebold, Pacific Northwest Ballet, DK Pan, Linas Phillips, Susan Robb, Sarah Rudinoff, David Russo, Scarecrow Video, Alex Schweder, Seattle School, Michael Seiwerath, Shabazz Palaces, Lynn Shelton, Cherdonna Shinatra, Nep Sidhu, SuttonBeresCuller, Rodrigo Valenzuela, Velocity Dance Center, Jim Woodring, Maged Zaher, Jennifer Zeyl, and zoe | juniper.

Curated by Jo-Anne Birnie Danzker, director of the Frye Art Museum, and Erika Dalya Massaquoi, an independent curator,Genius builds and expands upon the principles of past Frye cross-platform projects such as Mw [Moment Magnitude], 2012, and Your Feast Has Ended, 2014, and imagines and makes real a museum that not only exhibits art, but also supports its production.

An interactive microsite and scholarly catalogue will accompany the exhibition and together provide, for the first time, a comprehensive overview of individual and collaborative artistic practice across all disciplines in 21 Century Seattle.

Victoria Haven. Studio X (detail), 2015. Two-channel digital video. Courtesy of the artist.

Annie Han and Daniel Mihalyo: Lead Pencil Studio. Under the Surface, 2008. Charcoal graphite and paint on paper. 71 x 58 in. Courtesy of the artists.

Shabazz Palaces. Malcolm’s Smile 7C (initial rendering), 2015. Concept and design: Nep Sidhu. Wool, poly-cotton, aluminum. 150 x 96 x 15 in. Courtesy of the artist.

Jim Woodring. Still from Frank in the 3rd Dimension, 2015. 3D digital video. Pen drawings: Jim Woodring, 3D conversions: Charles Barnard. Courtesy of the artist and Fantagraphics Books.