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SMU’s Pollock Gallery Presents "Wide Open," November 3 – December 2, 2017

Opening reception on Friday, Nov. 3 from 5 to 7 p.m.

Armin Mühsam, The Theory of Productivity, Acrylic on PlywoodMDF

Surya Mattu, Sarah Rothberg, and Marina Zurkow, Travel Companions for a Sneaker from Viet Nam to Japan, Swimsuit (HS 62112), 2016

Screening of documentary essay “Forgotten Space” on Saturday, Nov. 4 at 7 p.m. at The Power Station

The Pollock Gallery of the Division of Art at SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts will present WIDE OPEN, a multimedia exhibition featuring works by international artists that focus on global trade along with historical documents about plans for a Port of Dallas, from November 3 through December 2, 2017.

Since the late 19th century, Dallas has envisioned itself as a center for economic trade. The Port of Dallas, a planned, but never realized, inland port with a network stretching from Dallas to Houston via the Trinity River, was conceived as a way to bring Dallas to the forefront as a trading hub. Such a port has been an ongoing topic of conversation for the past 125 years. The Port of Dallas vision led to a massive engineering and dredging project that ultimately rerouted the Trinity River around Dallas’ city center, but it completely overlooked any harmful effects on communities or ecosystems along the new route. With the project’s eventual failure from a lack of political and economic support came the scarring of a landscape. WIDE OPEN explores the historic precedents of global trade and infrastructure established in the past centuries that have formed today’s political, economic and geological landscape in Dallas.

The exhibition consists of a multimedia installation of contemporary artists’ works in conversation with historical documents from SMU DeGolyer Library archives about the Port of Dallas project of the late 1800s and early 1900s, which in the planning left a transformed and diverted Trinity River. Featured artists include Marcos Agudelo, Ursula Biemann, More&More Unlimited (an Illogistics Company™ - with Marina Zurkow, Sarah Rothberg and Surya Mattu), Rebecca Moss, Armin Mühsam, Liam Young and Tamir Zadok. The exhibition is accompanied by a catalog with essays by Heather Davis, Peter Fend and Laray Polk, and a foreword by the curators.

Still from New City The City in the Sea
Liam Young, Still from New City: The City in the Sea, 2014, Multiple channel video installation. Courtesy of the artist.

The exhibition is co-curated by Pollock Gallery curator Sofia Bastidas and New York-based urbanistGuillermo León Gómez as part of their ongoing curatorial initiative Port to Port, a project interested in how urban zones are globally networked through processes of economic investment and trade, facilitated and accelerated by telecommunications and finance. “Symptomatic of the neoliberal urges of global capitalism, these processes lead to the creation of homogeneous forms of infrastructure and design,” said Bastidas. “WIDE OPEN surveys these issues in multiple scales – from macro to micro – depicted through varied mediums in the exhibition. Selected works explicitly and implicitly illustrate material and geological transformation by economic, political and physiological forces representative of the current capitalist planetary urbanization paradigm.”

An opening reception will be held Friday, Nov. 3 from 5 to 7 p.m. in the gallery. In addition, the Pollock has partnered with The Power Station to screen the 2010 documentary essay The Forgotten Space by Allan Sekula and Noel Burch, an examination of global shipping and its consequences. The film will be shown at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 4, at The Power Station, 3816 Commerce St. in Dallas; admission is free and open to the public.

About the Pollock Gallery:

The Pollock Gallery is located on the first floor of the Hughes-Trigg Student Center, 3140 Dyer St. on the Southern Methodist University campus in Dallas. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday. The gallery is closed Sunday and Monday. Admission is free. For more information, call 214-768-4439 or visit here.

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