For the first time ever, David Hammons, in collaboration with Monday Evening Concerts, has restaged his 2000 ‘Global Fax Festival’ at Hauser & Wirth’s Downtown Los Angeles multi-use space, to honor the renowned composer and conductor Lawrence D. ‘Butch’ Morris. Worldwide streaming begins Tuesday, May 25, 2021.
In 2000, Hammons installed nine fax machines in the cathedral-like ceiling of the Crystal Palace in Madrid. ‘Global Fax Festival,’ part installation, part performance, transformed the palace’s vast space through the transmission of paper messages that were sent in from around the world and, upon printing, fluttered down from the machines like a soft winter snow, gradually filling the floor over a five-month period. Five days before the festival’s end, Hammons and composer/conductor Butch Morris collaborated on a concert, one of the improvisational performances that Morris called Conductions, integrating sampled recordings with ambient sounds.
More than 20 years later, amid a global pandemic and in the absence of Morris, who died in 2013, Hammons has reimagined the millennial Madrid performance by responding to the surroundings of Hauser & Wirth’s Los Angeles complex, paying homage to a pioneer whose work has been important to his own. With this adapted ‘Global Fax Festival,’ messages no longer pour from fax machines but are dispersed on the ground, as if left in the wake of a tsunami. Morris’ presence is recaptured on screens that display recordings of the conductor gesturing directives during previous Conduction® performances. In turn, Morris’ virtual cues now prompt pianist Myra Melford—a former Butch Morris collaborator and an authority on his music and gestural language—to respond with her own live, improvisational sounds, bringing past and present together and animating the Global Fax Festival for a new generation.
This unique musical experience will be viewable at hauserwirth.com beginning Tuesday 25 May 2021 for digital audiences worldwide.