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MMoCA Presents a Multimedia Installation by SHAWNÉ MICHAELAIN HOLLOWAY Examining the Nature of Longing

screenshot from a unity game showing a glowing rose surrounded by fences, fog, and rose petals
SHAWNÉ MICHAELAIN HOLLOWAY, DOGWHISTLE[generativeRosestill].png, unity game, 2019, digital image. Courtesy of the Artist.

closeLISTENER(reverse, react, “desire”) is the fifth iteration of the artist’s DOGWHISTLE series.

On View September 10, 2022 through March 12, 2023, in the Imprint Gallery

The Madison Museum of Contemporary Art Presents a Multimedia Installation by SHAWNÉ MICHAELAIN HOLLOWAY Examining the Nature of Longing Press Release

MADISON, WI—Madison Museum of Contemporary Art (MMoCA), presents closeLISTENER(reverse, react, “desire”), a multimedia installation by SHAWNÉ MICHAELAIN HOLLOWAY, who is from the Chicago area and now lives in Richmond, Virginia. The fifth iteration of HOLLOWAY’S DOGWHISTLE series, this installation uses text, animated video, and immersive sound to visualize and contemplate loss.

A dog whistle, HOLLOWAY explains, can be heard by some people but not by others, resulting in a sound that hovers on the edge of silence. Those who can hear it describe it as irritating, creating a physical sense of discomfort that even those who cannot hear the noise may experience. Like those who cannot hear the dog whistle, but feel its grievous presence, how can we pursue a path to relief?

closeLISTENER(reverse, react, “desire”) explores how vibrations enter the body, through asking what listens for these almost imperceptible frequencies. The artist uses the analogy of a JavaScript framework called an “event listener,” which is a function of computer code that asks the computer to wait until an action occurs within a program to activate a second set of instructions. What happens during the waiting period is called “listening.”

close up of a glass rose with striped indentations across the petals and the leaves
SHAWNÉ MICHAELAIN HOLLOWAY, shawne+michaelain+holloway+_+dog+whistle+2019+_+rose+close+up, 2019, digital image. Courtesy of the Artist.

Through three parts of the installation—reverse, react, and desire—the artist leads viewers (or in this case, the event listener) through a series of thought and movement that center active listening, encouraging viewers to think about desire to disengage from active listening as an intellectual practice, a nagging urge, and a consequence.

Using poetry, an accompanying 30-minute sound piece, sculptural guides, and the series signature shocking blue light and bold text, the artist prompts the viewer to reflect on the nature of loss, both permanent and impermanent.

Says HOLLOWAY, “I’m very excited to work with MMoCA to produce a new installation of my ongoing series DOGWHISTLE. Making this work in the Midwest, the region where I’m from, changes the research I’m doing to build the project in an exciting way. For example, if DOGWHISTLE is about longing and feeling physically out of touch, it’s perhaps a common but particularly uncanny experience to feel longing and grief from one’s own home—the place where we’re presumably supposed to feel the most at ease.”

About the Artist

SHAWNÉ MICHAELAIN HOLLOWAY is a new media artist and poet. Known for using sound, video, and performance, HOLLOWAY shapes the rhetoric of technology and sexuality into tools for exposing structures of power. She has spoken and exhibited work internationally in spaces like Performance Space New York, The New Museum, New York, The Kitchen, New York, The Time-Based Art Festival at the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, Oregon, Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.

About MMoCA

Madison Museum of Contemporary Art offers free gallery admission. Its vision is to be an organization that fosters the exchange of ideas and creates experiences that will inspire a wide audience; be a nexus for the work of emerging and established regional, national, and international artists; serve as a catalyst for the continued development of a vigorous community of artists; and provide a forum that will encourage people to be challenged by, reflect on, and make connections between art and the world around them.

The Museum includes four galleries and The Shop, a space to share interactive contemporary art experiences and educational workshops with the community.

The Museum’s Rooftop Sculpture Garden provides an urban oasis with an incredible view which serves as a lovely venue for weddings, art openings, and cinema. MMoCA’s galleries are open Thursdays through Sundays from noon to 6 PM.

Contact:
Marni McEntee
608.257.0158 ext. 241
marni@mmoca.org

Images

screenshot from a unity game showing a glowing rose surrounded by fences, fog, and rose petals

Attribution

SHAWNÉ MICHAELAIN HOLLOWAY, DOGWHISTLE[generativeRosestill].png, unity game, 2019, digital image. Courtesy of the Artist.

close up of a glass rose with striped indentations across the petals and the leaves

Attribution

SHAWNÉ MICHAELAIN HOLLOWAY, shawne+michaelain+holloway+_+dog+whistle+
2019+_+rose+close+up, 2019, digital image. Courtesy of the Artist.

Published on Sep 07 2022

Last Updated on Sep 08 2022

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