April 9, 2015 - Wexner Center for the Arts - World premiere from Ann Hamilton and SITI Company
April 9, 2015

World premiere from Ann Hamilton and SITI Company

Anne Bogart and Ann Hamilton. Photo: Katie Spengler.

Ann Hamilton and SITI Company
the theater is a blank page

Artist Residency Award Project
April 23–26, 2015

Wexner Center for the Arts
The Ohio State University
1871 North High Street
Columbus, OH 43210

T +1 614 292 3535

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The Wexner Center for the Arts presents the world premiere of the theater is a blank page, an immersive performance created by renowned visual artist Ann Hamilton and theater innovators SITI Company. The production, the first full collaboration between the artists, was created through a Wexner Center Artist Residency Award and is a signature moment of the Wexner Center’s 25th anniversary season.

Combining Ann Hamilton’s conceptual, visual art–based perspective on performance with SITI Company’s skills as theater-makers, the theater is a blank page pushes the artists’ aesthetics into fresh experimental territory. The work’s title metaphorically refers to the meta-experience of reading—being aware of both the solitary act of reading and of the author’s narrative journey.

As an extension of this idea, Hamilton and Anne Bogart, Leon Ingulsrud, and Ellen Lauren (SITI’s co-artistic directors on this project) will focus on the apparatus of theater—its architecture, mechanics, and tools—as well as on the audience’s immersion in the performance’s ever-evolving layers of images.

Text from Virginia Woolf’s novel To the Lighthouse (1927), known for its shifting temporal and psychological perspectives set alongside poignant ruminations on loss, subjectivity, and perception, will be another point of departure for the work. 

By bringing together these pivotal artists of different disciplines who have found deep kinship at the Wexner Center, the center underscores its mission of 25 years: to serve as a laboratory for creative exploration, and to offer a space where audiences can witness the creative process as it unfolds.

More information on the theater is a blank page 

The artists
Internationally renowned installation-art pioneer Ann Hamilton, who lives and works in Columbus and is a Distinguished University Professor in The Ohio State University’s Department of Art, has engaged the Wexner Center since New Works for New Spaces (1990–91), one of its inaugural exhibitions, and was the subject of the center’s 1996 survey of her multimedia work, the body and the object. She developed her interest in video through the support of the center’s Film/Video Studio Program and launched her first collaborations with performing artists such as choreographer Meg Stuart and multidisciplinary visionary Meredith Monk in projects spearheaded and commissioned by the center’s performing arts department. In addition to representing the US at the 1999 Venice Biennale, Hamilton has exhibited installations at such major institutions as the Park Avenue Armory, Guggenheim Museum, and Museum of Modern Art in New York, and has received the prestigious MacArthur “Genius” Award, among countless others.

Through Wexner Center creative residencies SITI Company has created and premiered multiple works at the center, including Bob (1998), Alice’s Adventures (1998), Room (2000), and Score (2002), and presented several other productions on the center’s stages. Among other notable accolades, SITI Company has received the Rene Castillo Otto Award for Political Theater and the American Theatre Wing Award. 

Hamilton met SITI Company through SITI’s repeat visits to the Wexner Center, which led to her inviting SITI actors and designers to take part in her acclaimed, large-scale installation the event of a thread at the Park Avenue Armory in late 2012. This success triggered their interest in joining forces for the theater is a blank page.

About the Wexner Center Residency Awards
As a research and development laboratory for the arts in all disciplines, the Wexner Center has offered substantial support to artists to develop new work since 1991, allowing hundreds of artists to create new work or explore new creative directions. The center’s support for artists through residencies and commissions underscores its commitment to being a catalyst to fueling the creative expression of our time, while complementing Ohio State’s mission as a leading research institution. Among the diverse artists who receive production assistance each year, recipients of the Wexner Center Artist Residency Award constitute a special category. Significant innovators in each of the center’s program areas are selected annually by the center’s director and curators to receive support through the Wexner Center Artist Residency Award Program.

More on Wexner Center Residency Awards 
Wexner Center Residency Awards video

Press contacts
Jennifer Wray: T +1 614 247 6241 / jwray [​at​] wexarts.org
Erik Pepple: T +1 614 292 9840 / epepple [​at​] wexarts.org

World premiere from Ann Hamilton and SITI Company at the Wexner Center for the Arts
Wexner Center for the Arts
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