The Barnes Foundation

Barnes Jawn(t), August 2018. Images courtesy of the Obvious Agency.

Barnes Jawn(t), August 2018. Images courtesy of the Obvious Agency.

In 2018 I began working with Philadelphia’s Obvious Agency and the Barnes Foundation  to create interactive happening-style interpretations of the Barnes Collection. The first of these were a series of short tours called Barnes Jawn(t)s. In each Jawn(t) I led small groups of people through the collection’s galleries, where they created dialogues based on the art. We looked at each gallery’s contents through many imagined lenses: that of the artists who’d made the art, that of Dr. Albert Barnes who’d assembled the collection and curated each gallery, and that of ourselves as viewers and the way we interpret the intentions of both creators and curators.

The next Barnes collaboration will happen in May of 2019., and will feature picture performances by a revolving ensemble of artist-storytellers to highlight older examples of  story-art in the collection, including hieroglyphic tablets from Egypt, painted urns from Greece, and carved wooden headboards from Madagascar.