Summer Exhibitions and Lectures at The Frye, July 16 – September 4

Posted on July 15, 2016, 3:20 pm
4 mins


Three exhibitions debut at The Frye Art Museum this weekend, and with each there is an associated lecture or panel in the coming weeks, so mark your calendars now.

Chronicles of Solitude: Masterworks by Vilhelm Hammershøi from SMK—The National Gallery of Denmark

I look forward to writing a more complete take on Chronicles of Solitude, the absolutely gorgeous exhibition of works by early 20th century painter Vilhelm Hammersøi. Most of these works come from The National Gallery of Denmark and have never been shown in the states, and never have they been in this configuration (and they likely never will be again).

Go and meditate on the oneiric light that pervades Hammershøi’s interiors, wreathing objects and lone women in a pensive glow. For those who want to learn more about the artist, there are several great opportunities coming up.

Saturday, July 16, 2 – 3:30 pm: Painting Tranquility

A lecture with SMK’s Kasper Monrad, Chief Curator and Senior Researcher for Chronicles of Solitude and possibly the world’s foremost Hammershøi scholar.

August 2 – August 5, 9:30 AM – 12 PM: Hammershøi and His Contemporaries

A series of Art History lectures with arts educator and writer Carol Hendricks.

Inye Wokoma: This Is Who We Are

Local artist Inye Wokoma explores ideas of lineage, family, migration, language, ceremony and identity in a series of family portraits and short films. It’s intimate, and for those who want to better access the work, I recommend attending a group lecture with the artist, collaborators and family members on Saturday, August 20 from 2-3 PM. Details here.

Xu Bing: Dragonfly Eyes (Trailer)

The most eclectic in this trio of exhibits is the trailer for a new film (still in progress) by Chinese artist Xu Bing. When it is completed, Dragonfly Eyes will be the first feature-length film composed entirely of surveillance footage. From the Frye’s website:

According to statistics from global information company IHS Technology, there were 245 million professionally installed video surveillance cameras active and operational globally in 2014, 65% of which were in Asia. Xu contends:

“This transforms the entire world into a giant stage that is constantly being monitored on a live feed. What I find most interesting about this project is that it seeks out a way of working and creating that matches this new kind of civilization. There is no cameraperson on our team, but all of the 24-hour surveillance cameras across China and the world are working for us. This is a method of the present, but it also presages future artistic methods.”

The film centers on a female protagonist named Dragonfly, who frequently undergoes cosmetic surgery. Inspired by an alleged news story that went viral online, Dragonfly Eyes is based on the reputed case of a husband who, after his wife gave birth to an ugly child, sued her for divorce when he learned she had undergone plastic surgery prior to their marriage.

The trailer is as chaotic and unnerving as you might expect. One can only imagine what a trip the final result will be. In the meantime, on Thursday, August 11 from 6:30 – 8 PM, check out the panel Surveilling Surveillance, with researchers Yomi Braester and Matthew Sparke and data privacy lawyer Jennifer Small.


T.s. Flock is a writer and arts critic based in Seattle and co-founder of Vanguard Seattle.