Thursday, May 22, 2008



War, beauty, and survival

Vanessa Albury, Jesse Bransford, Jacob Cohen, Mila Geisler, Pamela Jue, Caroline Polachek, Max Razdow, Hiroshi Sunairi

Curated by Jan Van Woensel

During the Cold War, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) planned to broadcast The Sound of Music on radio in the event of a nuclear strike on the United Kingdom. The show would be part of an emergency timetable of programs designed to "reassure" the public in the aftermath of the attack.

An altered, simplified and popular version of the life of Maria Augusta von Trapp (1905 – 1987) is depicted in the 1965 movie musical The Sound of Music. In Salzburg, Austria, before the outbreak of the Second World War, Maria wedded naval commander Georg Ritter von Trapp. Partly due to strong economic pressures from Germany, the family lost their fortune in 1935. To survive, the Trapps sent away most of their servants, moved into the top floor of their house, and rented the empty rooms to students of the Catholic University. The family began turning its love of music into a career. After performing at a festival, they became a popular touring act. Shortly after the Nazi annexation of Austria in 1938, and topped by the Nazi pressure on Georg to join the Third Reich’s Kriegsmarine, the family escaped to Italy and then to the United States. *

As a primary source of inspiration for the exhibition, the adventures of The Sound of Music symbolize family, protection, the great evil, survival, and romance. The exhibition explores how concepts of disruption (global and domestic, collective and personal,) beauty and survival inspire a selection of American, or in America living artists.

Hiroshi Sunairi
is originally from Hiroshima, Japan. His recent body of works focuses predominantly on the slow process of healing after times of great disaster such as the dropping of the atomic bombs at the end of World War II, and 9/11. Sunairi’s Hibaku Tree Project is an ongoing project celebrating the Gingko tree, the second generation of the tree that survived the atomic bombing. The artist gives seedlings of the tree to people in the United States, inviting them to plant and take care of the growing tree. Hereby, Sunairi’s project introduces feelings of harmony, guilt, and remembrance between two nations. The Hibaku tree in The Sound of Music is a gift to Nancy Barton, chair of the department of art and art professions at NYU.

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Spain: Blanca de la Torre’s Hibaku Sendan has bloomed

Hiroshi, one of your trees has bloomed!!!!! :) -Blanca de la Torre