On view in our Rotunda gallery are works by Keith Haring (1958–1990) from The Hyde’s permanent collection, exhibited with a work in progress by lighting designer Thomas Dunn (b. 1972). Keith Haring was a street and subway artist turned art-world-superstar, famed for his lyrical, single-line figure paintings. Haring’s visual language came to be synonymous with the advocacy work of AIDS activist groups such as ACT UP. He succumbed to AIDS at the age of thirty-one.
In 1982, Haring was asked to collaborate on the scenic elements for a performance at New York City’s Riverside Dance Festival by Muna Tseng. Tseng is a dancer, choreographer, and the sister of photographer Tseng Kwong Chi (1950–1990), a friend of Haring. “Epochal Songs,” the resulting collaboration, manifested in a series of forty-seven drawings by Haring representing the history of life on earth, panned from a slide projector as a backdrop to Tseng’s performance.
Muna Tseng invited Thomas Dunn to create a reimagining of “Epochal Songs” for a 2021 installation at SCHUNCK Museum in the Netherlands. The installation consisted of sixty LED tiles, typically used for billboard signage, as a nod to Haring’s roots as a street artist. Using Adobe After Effects, Dunn animated Haring’s work, integrating it with his light art animations and creating an immersive space for Tseng’s performance.
Visitors to The Hyde now have the opportunity to witness Dunn at work as he adds an interactive element to the interlude sections of the 2021 project.
This project is supported in part by the Vermont Arts Council, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Vermont Community Foundation.