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Jeanine Oleson Sets an Operatic “Hear, Here” at New Museum

BY DION TAN | JUNE 24, 2014

Interdisciplinary artist Jeanine Oleson continues to challenge socio-political norms with her performance and installation works. This time, she dives into the farcical with a witty operatic exhibition “Hear, Here” during her five-month residency at the New Museum in Manhattan.

“I’ve been thinking a lot about the role of what artist’s make and the idea of creativity and production,” Oleson told Blouin ARTINFO. “But also thinking about the political agency, how one understands something outside of themselves, and how the human voice mirrors that.”

The museum’s fifth floor gallery is transformed into Oleson’s stage and exploration of audience engagement. Visitors are greeted with a lone velvet theater seat and red floor-to-ceiling curtains that demarcate Oleson’s cacophonous video installation of opera performances. The space is also dressed with an impromptu stage set of what seems to be an archaic mountain scene lined in faux animal fur and racks of baroque costumes. Oleson even custom-made an exotic trumpet she designed, called the Aurihorn, played by multi-instrumentalist Kelly Pratt. The installations from the exhibit were also used as set pieces for the satirical performance.

The exhibition is open through July 6 at the New Museum, 253 Bowery, New York, NY.