Whats glowing behind that doorway at the Frye?
  • Whats glowing behind that doorway at the Frye?

...This is! Its a light sculpture by Lilienthal|Zamora, installed at the Frye in December, halfway through the run of Mw. Is it a stage set? An installation after the late California artist Michael Asher, who once built a physical archive of every exhibition ever held inside a certain museum?

This is the final weekend of Moment Magnitude (Mw), the Frye Art Museum's experimental exhibition that takes stock of local culture with videos, photographs, sculptures, opera rehearsals, dance performances, music videos, the inaugural performances of new musical compositions, drawings, installations, ceramics, environmental art, writings, and documentations of early performance art. I wrote about it in October:

Though its organizers would cringe at the "b" word, Mw is not unlike a biennial. It puts forward a case about Seattle—that its current aesthetic is fundamentally hybrid. It wants to consider what's great here and now, whether or not it fits the museum mold—huzzah—even if the wall labels are woolly. ...

...it's unusual in that it's a truly connective group show without a topical theme. You have to spend a little time, but the connections are worth it.

The more fixed art—what's in the galleries—is an unprecedented mix of new, new-classic (pieces seen recently and loved), and true classic Seattle.

The Peoples Grand Opera
  • The People's Grand Opera
Happenings have been ongoing; it's not a static show. On Sunday at 3, the writer Rebecca Brown will give a rousing closing walkthrough. Recommended. Before that, at 1:30 on Sunday, there'll be a performance of The People's Grand Opera—a project I'm excited to see, created and with original songs by Sara Edwards (based on the writings of Walt Whitman) and including 40 community singers and sets by NKO. The People's Grand Opera also has an open rehearsal at the museum from 2 to 4 pm Saturday. Seeing work in progress has been a major source of Mw's pleasure for me.

Another new and recently added piece you don't want to miss is the sonic portrait of the doomed housing project Yesler Terrace, created by teenagers who live there in conjunction with the artists Tad Hirsch and Laura O'Quin. Press the little red buttons on these handsome boxes to hear the mesmerizing sounds of people talking, singing, having their hair done, just living.

Find out more.