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Free day at Seattle Art Museum on Sunday to celebrate new Doug Aitken art installation on the façade

Post by Rosemary Ponnekanti / The News Tribune on March 19, 2013 at 11:46 am |
March 19, 2013 12:39 pm
Doug Aitken, "Mirror" (rendering). Image Courtesy Doug Aitken Workshop.
Doug Aitken, “Mirror” (rendering). Image Courtesy Doug Aitken Workshop.

It’s not often you get to see Rembrandt, Van Dyck and Gainsborough for free – but you can this Sunday if you hustle. Seattle Art Museum, where these treasures and more are currently visiting from Kenwood House, England, is holding a free admission day this Sunday to celebrate the launch of a new permanent art installation on the building’s façade. Advance tickets are already sold, but more will be available online this Friday for a few lucky souls.

But even if you don’t get free entry, the outdoor installation is definitely worth checking out. Created by international artist Doug Aitken, “Mirror” is a constantly-changing video installation which turns the exterior of the museum into a literal mirror of its surroundings. Like many of Aitken’s previous works – such as “New Ocean” which transformed London’s Serpentine Gallery into a lighthouse and “Song 1”, which created a 360-degree screen out of the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, D.C. – “Mirror” deconstructs images from real life Seattle and surrounds, and sequences them live onto SAM’s exterior wall.

From the press release: “Hundreds of hours of footage, surfaces, locations and landscapes reduced to their essence will create a living museum exterior…Like choreography with no music, the images are left to define the composition and patterns live.”

The 6:30 p.m. event will also feature minimalist icon Terry Riley playing his famous work “In C” with members of the Seattle Symphony, plus food trucks and a speech by Mayor McGinn.

6:30 p.m. March 24. Free. Seattle Art Museum, corner of First Avenue and Union Street, Seattle. See seattleartmuseum.org this Friday at noon for tickets.

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