Groundswell

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Olana’s Ridge Road
September 13, 2014
September 22, 2013

Photo by Antoine Lutens

Olana’s 250-acre landscape was originally designed in response to its essential and spectacular views–the “Olana Viewshed”–by Hudson River School artist Frederic Church. On September 13, during this one-day exhibition event, audiences will explore the property’s undiscovered roads and naturalistic scenes as they encounter each project site. Picnicking will take place at a breathtaking clearing, which overlooks the Hudson River, the Catskill Mountains and beyond. The event will culminate with a performance by celebrated composer and artist William Basinski.

Groundswell installations and performances will be sited along Olana’s historic Ridge Road. When Church created this road, he famously wrote: “I can make more and better landscapes in this way than by tampering with canvas and paint in the studio.” While passing through native woodlands and recently restored meadows, participants will interact with the artists and Olana’s background elements, which include: the distant mountains of Vermont and the nearby City of Hudson; the Mount Merino hillside which was protected by Scenic Hudson; the site of the regional St. Lawrence Cement battle; the original property of Thomas Cole, the founder of the Hudson River School and Church’s teacher; high voltage power lines with blinking support towers which cross the Hudson River along a route which might soon be expanded throughout the Hudson Valley; the site of the famed Catskill Mountain House, America’s great wilderness hotel, which disappeared in flames in 1963; and Blue Hill, which Church painted and which has recently been threatened with a larger communications tower along its ridgeline. Since the 1970s, when a massive nuclear power plant was rejected because of Olana’s iconic views, Olana has represented a particularly American mix of art and environmentalism.

Proceeds benefit The Olana Partnership and Wave Farm’s WGXC-FM.

This exhibition is organized by The Olana Partnership and Wave Farm’s WGXC-FM.

Jane Carver’s performance and sound-based works are fueled by an interest in the accumulation and decay of sound, as well as the relationship between melody and memory. At Groundswell, Carver will work in collaboration with conceptual artist Mckendree Key, whose practice centers around architecture and space. Key’s ongoing project The Den Transaction is an experiment in space as a commodity in Brooklyn, NY.

Artist Ellen Driscoll explores history, resource consumption, and material lineage in her sculptures, drawings, and installations. Recent projects imagine a ghostly and chaotic future through sculptural landscapes, constructed out of translucent, plastic bottles. Driscoll serves as Program Director of Studio Arts at Bard College.

Michael Garofalo is a sound artist, musician, and senior producer for the national public media project StoryCorps. At Groundswell, Garofalo will work with Laura Ortman and Bryan Zimmerman. Laura Ortman, a composer, multi-instrumentalist, visual and installation artist, has co-founded and performed in groups including The Dust Dive, Stars Like Fleas, and the all-Native American orchestra, The Coast Orchestra. Sound and visual artist Bryan Zimmerman’s work takes shape in performance, photography, collage, and installation, consistently exploring overlooked and undervalued human geography, land use, and outdoor culture.

Hélène Lesterlin founded Studio Reynard in 2012 for her work as director, performer, artist, curator, and instigator of collaborative projects; current works include a medieval puppet satire, as well as a solo dance disguised as a lecture using the archives of the Woodstock Historical Society. At Groundswell, Lesterlin will work in collaboration with Jack Magai, choreographer, dancer, and founder in 2006 with Lesterlin and Margit Galanter of Emergent Scores Lab (ESL), a weekly meeting of improvising time-based artists. His work deals with the battle for our attention between ideas and sensations. The current idea is “nature revives the tired modern soul.”

Man Forever is a exploratory percussion project helmed by drummer John Colpitts (aka Kid Millions), one of New York’s most critically acclaimed and versatile collaborators. Since its inception in 2010, Man Forever has comprised an exciting roster of guest performers.

Marian Schoettle constructs mobile scenarios with clothing and props that explore the experience of the self in relation to social, political, and physical environments. Her ongoing project ‘post industrial folk wear and commodities’ explores the theme of (dis)integration.

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