Look and Listen | Public Art at Dartmouth

In the hustle and bustle of campus life, you might overlook the public art that punctuates our landscape. Using this playlist by Devon Mifflin '21, we invite you to mindfully immerse yourself in Dartmouth's diverse collection of public art. 

As you walk around Beverly Pepper's monumental sculpture, Thel, listen to soft, but powerful lyrics of "Light Years" by The National. Notice the series of white, geometric forms rising from the ground. The steel protrusions lean towards one another, but they are stuck "light years away." Both tranquil and abrasive, Thel resembles boulders - simultaneously protruding from and rooted in the landscape. Like The National's song, Beverly Pepper's sculpture invites reflection on the monuments around us.

Image: Beverly Pepper, Thel, 1975-77, painted Cor-Ten steel and grass. 

 

 

 

 

Take in the beautiful balance of Inuksuk by Peter Irniq as you listen to "Wait" by Alexi Murdoch. Layered on top of one another, the dozens of stones in Irniq's monument rest in perfect equilibrium. In his song, Murdoch repeatedly asks: "And if I stumble… and if I should fall… Will you? Will you wait for me?" Murdoch sings of seeking out support, just like that between the elements of Inuksuk. Each stone within Irniq's sculpture relies on the stability of the whole, creating a formation that feels both precarious and collectively anchored.

Image: Peter Irniq, Inuksuk, 2007, stone. 

 

 

 

 

In his song, "Stay Alive," José Gonzáles sings of the "rhythm in rush these days" that keeps us from connecting with our environment. Obsessed with going from one place to the next, we often forget to truly take note of the fixtures of our surroundings. Stand before Ellsworth Kelly's Dartmouth Panels and realize their size and vibrancy. Kelly's prodigious work rises above the Maffei Arts Plaza as an ever-present beacon of possibility. In his song, Gonzáles repeats over and over: "Dawn is coming, open your eyes." Gonzáles and Kelly invite us to look up, widen our perspective, and appreciate the beauty that we neglect in everyday activity.  

Image: Ellsworth Kelly, Dartmouth Panels, 2012, painted aluminum. 

 

 

 

 

As you walk around Clement Meadmore's sculpture, listen to Bon Iver's short but commanding song, "____45____." The song opens quietly, slowly gaining force. Meadmore's sculpture seems "carved in fire," almost hovering above the ground and rising towards the sky. The steel beams of Perdido stretch out in all directions, like the embers of a flame, branches of a tree, or divergent paths on a trail. Throughout his song, Iver mutters under his breath: "without knowing what the truth is." He sings of feeling uncertain and without a clear course, reflecting the sentiment of the sculpture's title which translates to "lost" in English.

Image: Clement Meadmore, Perdido, 1978, Cor-Ten steel. 

"Look and Listen" is a student playlist project. Think of how your own favorite songs could fit with a work of art and share with us on any social media platform by tagging @HoodMuseum or using the hashtag #HoodMuseum.

Written by Devon Mifflin '21, Digital Engagement Project Assistant at the Hood Museum of Art, Summer 2020

 

 

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Written July 06, 2020