The work of artist David Hartt (Canadian, born 1967) investigates the specificity of place. By examining the culture and built environment of a given locale, Hartt observes how the needs and values of communities form, manifest, and change over time.
For Interval, Hartt selected two sites of relative economic and geographic isolation: Whitehorse in the Canadian Yukon and Sakhalin Island, a Russian territory at the tip of the Japanese archipelago. The exhibition consists of essayistic films and photographs shot in both places. Accompanying these are a score by composer Mitchell Akiyama and a curtain wall structure simulating the reflective exterior of the Bonaventure Hotel in Los Angeles, a postmodernist icon and the initial venue for this project.
Hartt chose each location—Whitehorse and Sakhalin—according to a specific cultural source. In 1967 Canadian pianist Glenn Gould made a radio documentary, The Idea of North, that featured anthropologist and geographer James Lotz recounting his experiences in Whitehorse while making a report on the living conditions of itinerant workers and aboriginal peoples there. Writer Anton Chekhov penned The Island: A Journey to Sakhalin, also a documentary account, after traveling in 1890 to the historically contested territory, then a Russian penal colony.
The title, Interval, refers to a musical term for the harmonic result of two notes struck simultaneously, and more generally to temporal and spatial displacement. Both Gould and Chekhov focused on the periphery of their respective societies in order to comment on the center, an approach Hartt employs to explore the hybrid identities of sites and individuals in a globalized world.
Sponsors David Hartt: Interval was produced and debuted as part of LAXART’s Occasional.
Support of David Hartt: Interval at the Art Institute of Chicago has been generously provided by the Chauncey and Marion D. McCormick Family Foundation and Anne L. Kaplan.
Additional support has been contributed by the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts.
In-kind support is provided by Dirk Denison Architects, Alliance Glazing Technologies, Inc., and Kawneer North America.
2 days 12 hours ago The Art Institute of Chicago Congratulations to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture on their grand opening this weekend. The building, designed by architect David Adjaye, is a truly historic addition to the National Mall in Washington D.C. #APeoplesJourney #MakingHistory
2 days 15 hours ago The Art Institute of Chicago Time machines, superheroes, wild creatures, and more… JourneyMaker makes every visit to the museum an adventure.
Try this new digital interactive for families in the museum’s Ryan Learning Center, located in the Modern Wing, or print out a tour at home.
3 days 13 hours ago The Art Institute of Chicago Today marks the autumn equinox and the official end of summer. Celebrate the changing of the seasons with the latest in ARTicle’s Sound and Vision series, matching songs from around the world with our encyclopedic collection.