Nasher XChange: Music (Everything I know I learned the day my son was born)

Alfredo Jaar
October 19, 2013 - February 16, 2014
Alfredo Jaar
Music (Everything I know I learned the day my son was born), 2013-14 
Nasher Sculpture Center and three area hospitals

An installation that celebrated newborns and their limitless futures as Dallas citizens, brought their voices together in a touching, symphonic experience.

 

Jaar’s project was inspired by what it means for a museum to celebrate an anniversary: What does it mean to be born, grow and then reflect back on 10 years of life? Most importantly, how can an institution like the Nasher Sculpture Center acknowledge the community it is a part of? Instead of reflecting on important institutional moments, Jaar made a work that celebrates the births of newborn citizens and the limitless possibilities of their futures. Inside a pavilion designed by Jaar and located in the Nasher Garden, visitors heard recordings of the first cries of babies born in Dallas between October 1, 2013 and February 1, 2014.

In collaboration with Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas, Methodist Dallas Medical Center and Parkland Health & Hospital System, the sounds of the first moments of life were recorded and uploaded to the pavilion. Throughout the duration of the exhibition, the recordings were played each day at the precise times of the births and new recordings were added continuously. The diversity of voices and their intermittent occurrence within the space created an ever-changing musical composition that provided simple yet profound reminders of our city’s continuing growth. For the hundreds of families that chose to become a part of this artwork, the Nasher Sculpture Center provided special memberships to the museum – a one-year Giacometti Level Membership for the participating families and a first-ever Lifetime Membership for the babies.