SAT
DEC 10, 2011


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‘The Listening Room’

Why: The artist, Theaster Gates, kept the floodlights in the gallery low so it would feel either like a lounge, he explained, or like a living room after the kids have gone to bed. His new installation is on the occasion of his winning this year’s Gwendolyn Knight and Jacob Lawrence Fellowship for African American artists doing great work, and it also happens to be the same month he’s landed on the cover of Art in America. Goodness. In The Listening Room, you can sit on a handmade chair, play records salvaged from the late Dr. Wax record store in Chicago, and wonder why strips of decommissioned fire hose are arranged in panels on the walls like abstract paintings. They’re in honor of Birmingham, 1963—and these actual hoses were decommissioned after they could no longer handle the water pressure anymore. (First Thursdays and Sundays, a DJ spins.) (Seattle Art Museum, 1300 First Ave, www.seattleartmuseum.org, 10 am–5 pm, $15 suggested)

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