Carson Chan

Section 3: Second Hand Emotions

What did Tina Turner mean when she called love a ‘second hand emotion’. Is it to say that emotions are secondary to the primacy of our senses? Or that our feelings don’t belong to us at all – externally triggered, played as if scripted?

‘Second Hand Emotions’, curated by Carson Chan, brings together a group of works that examines vicarious experiences, mediated encounters, and received beliefs. Exhibited between Meyerson Symphony Hall and the Cathedral Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, building surfaces, parking lots, alleyways, and even the church bells will present the indirect as a first-hand experience.

Curatorial Assistant: Kira McDonald

Section Venues
Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center
Cathedral Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe
Hall Arts Center Parking Garage

All artists in this section

Section within the
Dallas Arts District

Carson Chan is an architecture writer and curator, pursuing a PhD in Architecture at Princeton University. After working for Barkow Leibinger Architects and the icoeue Nationalgalerie’s architecture exhibitions department in Berlin, with Fotini Lazaridou-Hatzigoga, he founded PROGRAM in 2006, a non-commercial initiative for art and architecture collaborations in the same city. He has variously curated and overseen more than 50 exhibitions of contemporary art and architecture. His writing on art, architecture and contemporary culture appears regularly in books and periodicals, including Kaleidoscope Magazine, where he is a Contributing Editor, and 032c (Berlin), where he is Editor-at-Large.

Chan has interviewed a broad range of contemporary practitioners, including Thomas Demand, Udo Kittelmann, William T. Vollmann, MVRDV, Ute Meta Bauer, Greg Lynn, Rick Owens, Mario Botta, Hans Kollhoff and David Simon. With Nadim Samman, Chan curated the 4th Marrakech Biennale 2012, presenting newly commissioned works by more than 40 artists, architects, writers, musicians and composers at five locations throughout the city. Chan was Executive Curator of the Biennial of the Americas 2013, in Denver, Colorado. All the works in his exhibition were presented outdoors, in downtown Denver’s public space. Also in 2013, Chan co-organized ‘Exhibiting Architecture: A Paradox?’ a conference at Yale School of Architecture with David Andrew Tasman, and Eeva-Liisa Pelkonen, bringing together leading and emerging scholars researching both historical and contemporary practices of architecture exhibition making.

All artists
Julianne Aguilar
Olaniyi Rasheed Akindiya
Caitlin Berrigan
Dan Bodan
James Clar
James Connolly
Kate Firth
Emily Goodrum
Andy Graydon & Pete Bjordahl
Andreas Greiner
Mari Hidalgo King
Liz Magic Laser
Lynne Marsh
Michael Alexander Morris
Cynthia Mulcahy
Niko Princen
Carolyn Sortor
Jon Vogt

Curator Interview:

What are the possibilities and challenges for curating a large-scale, outdoor exhibition like Aurora?
In a gallery or museum, curators can make a pretty good guess as to who their audience is. For outdoor exhibitions like Aurora, the challenge is to present art work that can engage a wide range of audiences. The work of many artists will not translate well in this setting, but part of my task is to allow existing work made for indoor spaces an opportunity to convey some new aspects that emerge when shown in public space.

What is your approach to curating in general? Primarily conceptual, material/aesthetic or process-based?
My background is architecture, and I see curating as a way to communicate ideas through experience. Curating is not simply selecting artists, organizing art works into an exhibition, but a practice of making meaning out of a sequence of experiences. The types of spaces art work is exhibited in is crucial to the way they will be perceived by the audience. Fundamentally, I see a curator as a mediator between the institution, the artists and their work, and the audience. How do you keep everyone happy?

What guides your choice of artists for your section of the Aurora 2015 exhibition?
For my show, called ‘Second Hand Emotions’, I was looking for art works that suggested experiences and ideas outside of itself. I was interested in creating a show about vicarious or second-hand experiences in a one-night public exhibition setting that, if anything, privileges immediate interaction. On the night of the show, The Dallas Symphony Orchestra will be performing Bruckner’s Symphony No.5. On the exterior walls of the symphony hall, I will project Lynne Marsh’s video, which depicts a team of documentarists filming the Berlin Philharmonic performing Bruckner’s Symphony No.5. Niko Princen’s installation will invite Aurora visitors to blow out a candle in Amsterdam by blowing into a microphone in Dallas. That sound is then transmitted over the Internet and played on bass speakers, which could produce strong enough sound waves to blow out a near by candle.

What’s the best exhibition you’ve seen so far in 2015 and why?
It hasn’t happened yet, but I’m very much looking forward to the design exhibition at the Swiss Institute in New York, curated by Felix Burrichter. It’s a show that asks how we understand presence in a world of digital technology.

A biennial public art event of light, video and sound.

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