MARFA, TX.- Ballroom Marfa
announced Laura Copelin's appointment to the role of executive director. Copelin joined Ballroom as associate curator in 2014, and has served as the nonprofit organization's interim director since April 2017. In addition to her administrative leadership position, she will continue in her role as Ballroom's curator.
"The last few years have been an incredible learning experience," says Copelin. "I've been privileged to work closely with visionary artists and thinkers, while benefiting from the wise guidance of Ballroom's dedicated founders and board of trustees."
"I look forward to facilitating more new artwork, ideas, and exhibitions at Ballroom. Together with my multi-talented colleagues, I hope to encourage the production of challenging projects that respond to pressing ecological and social issues, locally and as part of a global conversation."
"Laura's curatorial vision is already setting new standards for Ballroom's programming; combining a keen eye with a deep understanding of the social, political, and environmental issues that are driving the conversation in our culture today," says Ballroom Marfa Co-Founder and Artistic Director Fairfax Dorn. "Copelin combines this deep engagement in the international art world with true community leadership in Marfa. We're fortunate to have her talents and dedication as Ballroom nears its 15th anniversary."
Copelin organized Ballroom Marfa's current group exhibition, Tierra. Sangre. Oro., with artist Rafa Esparza. The program is on view until March 18, 2018, and includes new installation, performance, and sculptural work from Esparza alongside collaborations and contributions from artists Carmen Argote, Nao Bustamante, Beatriz Cortez, Timo Fahler, Eamon Ore-Giron, and Star Montana.
In continuing Ballroom Marfa's partnership with Whitechapel Gallery, Copelin has selected the film Serpent Rain for the 2017 Artists' Film International program. Serpent Rain is a collaboration between philosopher Denise Ferreira da Silva and artist Arjuna Neuman, a video that lyrically addresses slavery, tarot, resource extraction, black lives matter, climate, and timelessness. Ballroom will present this video, along with the other selections from the AFI 2017 series, as part of a weekend of screenings, discussions, and lectures on the November 18-19, 2017.
In Winter 2018 Ballroom will unveil Haroon Mirza's stone circle, a large-scale outdoor sculpture installed in the high desert grasslands east of Marfa, Texas. The stone circle is Ballroom's most ambitious public commission since Elmgreen & Dragset's Prada Marfa was completed in 2005, and is coming to fruition under the careful guidance of Copelin and the team in Marfa.
Ballroom Marfa's Spring 2018 group exhibition, Hyperobjects, is curated by Copelin and Timothy Morton. Hyperobjects takes its name and organizing principles from Morton's 2013 book. This exhibition uses ideas from Morton's theory to confront the overwhelming scale of today's ecological crisis. The project will include objects and installations from the world of contemporary art alongside objects sourced from the local environment. Hyperobjects will open on April 13, 2018, with a reception and performance that coincides with Ballroom's 2018 Marfa Myths Festival.
Since 2014 Copelin also helped realize the Sam Falls exhibition and catalogue (2015); the exhibition Äppärät with guest curator Tom Morton (2015); Marfa Dialogues/Houston symposium (2016); the exhibition After Effect (2016); programs, exhibitions, and booklets for Artists' Film International (2015-2016); and the exhibition Strange Attractor with guest curator Gryphon Rue (2017).