Houstons new, internationally-focused arts institution, the Moody Center for the Arts
at Rice University, built for creating collaborative works of all kinds and presenting innovative, transdisciplinary experiences, will open to the public on Friday, February 24, 2017, with five cutting-edge art exhibitions, one world-premiere dance performance developed on-site and four days of celebratory events for Rice University and local communities. Designed by renowned architect Michael Maltzan, the Moody offers a new meeting place of the arts, humanities and sciences, and of the public and the academic world, with exhibition spaces open and free to all.
During the Moodys first full day in operation, Saturday, February 25, guides will be present from 10am to 5pm to discuss the artworks in the galleries. From 2 to 3pm, internationally renowned German photographer Thomas Struth will participate in a panel discussion with Douglas Terrier, NASA Chief Technologist, and James Tour, the T. T. and W. F. Chao Professor of Chemistry, Professor of Materials Science and NanoEngineering and of Computer Science at Rice University, both of whom design and work in the spaces Struth photographs. The conversation, in the Moodys Lois Chiles Studio Theater, will focus on the photographs in Struths exhibition Nature & Politics, and will cover technology, research and art, and how our experience of visual landscapes shapes our perceptions of the world. At 6pm, at the nearby James Turrell Twilight Epiphany Skyspace at the Suzanne Deal Booth Centennial Pavilion, the Moody will host the world premiere of Vespertine Awakenings, a dance commissioned from Duan Týnek Dance Theatre. Conceived on-site in response to Turrells artwork, Vespertine Awakenings will be performed with an original musical score by composer Kurt Stallmann of Rices Shepherd School of Music, and will enable visitors to experience the wonders of Turrells light sequence at sunset, enhanced by dance and music.
Alison Weaver said, Weve planned the opening celebrations to introduce everyone to the extraordinary range of creative activity at Rice and the Moody. We look forward to seeing Michael Maltzans magnificent building come to life, and for the Rice community, the Houston public and our visitors from around the world to join us in the excitement.
David Leebron, president of Rice University, said, This is an exciting milestone for Rice as we continue to elevate the role of the arts on our campus. The Moody Center for the Arts will foster creativity and innovation in our faculty and students, build on our commitment to Houstons flourishing artistic life and further establish Houston and Rice as arts beacons to the world.
THE INAUGURAL SEASON
Olafur Eliasson: Green light An artistic workshop (through May 6)
The Moody will inaugurate its central gallery with the first installation in the United States of Green light An artistic workshop, a creative response to the international refugee crisis developed by the renowned Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson. Initiated by the artist in March 2016 in collaboration with Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary (TBA21) in Vienna, Green light invites asylum seekers, refugees and economic migrants to participate in constructing stackable, modular green lamps designed by Eliasson, made from recycled and sustainable materials. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the lamps will be donated to the Moodys partner organization in the workshop, Interfaith Ministries of Greater Houston, to benefit refugees. University students and members of the public are invited to join in the workshop, which also includes language courses, seminars, artists interventions, film screenings and other initiatives that respond to the needs of the participating refugees and migrants.
Eliasson will be at the Moody on Monday, March 20, to join in the workshop and hold a conversation with the public and the Rice community. Green light An artistic workshop will be hosted by the 57th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, as part of the exhibition Viva Arte Viva, beginning in May 2017.
Thomas Struth: Nature & Politics (through May 29)
In its sky-lit Brown Foundation Gallery, the Moody will present Nature & Politics, featuring photographs by Thomas Struth of sites of scientific research and manufactured landscapes. The photographs bear witness to the specialized imaginations of experts whose ideas and designs make it possible to pursue space travel, conduct experiments in plasma physics or build industrial facilities such as offshore oil rigs and blast furnaces. The panel discussion with the artist on the opening weekend will inaugurate interdisciplinary conversations at the Moody about technology and research and how our experience of them shapes our perceptions of the world. This presentation of Nature & Politics is based on an exhibition that was co-organized by the Museum Folkwang in Essen, Martin-Gropius-Bau in Berlin and the High Museum in Atlanta.
Diana Thater: The Starry Messenger (through February 1, 2018)
In the Moodys Reception Gallery, visitors will be greeted by an installation of The Starry Messenger (2014), a nine-monitor video wall by artist Diana Thater. This spectacular and encompassing work presents a changing vista of the Milky Way filmed in the Griffith Observatory Planetarium in Los Angeles, shot from below the massive Zeiss star projector. While exhibited in Houston, the home of NASAs Johnson Space Center, the work will be at the center of a series of cross-disciplinary discussions featuring scientists, poets, artists and astronauts, in partnership with the Rice Space Institute. Diana Thater will participate in a discussion about the work on April 21, 2017.
teamLab: Flowers and People, Cannot be Controlled but Live Together A Whole Year per Hour (through August 13)
In the Moodys Media Arts Gallery, visitors will encounter a large-scale installation by the Tokyo art collective teamLab, Flowers and People, Cannot be Controlled but Live Together A Whole Year per Hour (2015). This immersive and hypnotic installation consists of computer graphic visuals that change in response to the visitors presence, releasing constantly evolving images of natural forms. Through its interplay of digital imagery and the human body, the work raises questions about relationships between art, technology and nature, and the human capacity to mediate between them.
Google - Tilt Brush
In the Moodys second Media Arts Gallery, the Beth Herlin 13 Studio, visitors will be invited to experiment with a new 3-D paintbrush developed by Google. Using the gallery as a canvas, the Tilt Brush enables visitors to paint in three dimensions using virtual reality and to explore their own creative capacity in the spirit of the hands-on learning that defines the Moody.