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‘Solidary and Solitary’ on the aux

| Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Ivan Skvaril

The Snite Museum of Art and Notre Dame’s student radio station, WVFI, have collaborated to create Spotify playlists for the viewing of the ongoing art exhibition, “Solidary and Solitary: The Joyner/Giuffrida Collection,” until Dec. 15.

Co-coordinator for the Snite Student Programming Committee Rachel Mills spearheaded the project along with WVFI’s website manager, Charlie Hergenrother. The playlists will be available until the end of the exhibition, which will soon to be more accessible through bar codes can be scanned with one’s phone on the Spotify app.

“The idea for this [exhibit] is inspired by the idea of silent discos and also the traditional audio tour you get if you go into a museum, but [we are] trying to breathe more life into the idea,” Mills said.

There are eight playlists in total that have been created for the exhibit. Six of them are separately designed for the six specific rooms of the exhibit, while two of them are inspired by artists within the exhibit. WVFI radio hosts who expressed interest in curating these playlists toured the exhibition and learned about the artists in order to curate playlists, which reflect the art itself and their personal music tastes.

“All of the radio hosts who showed up were really enthusiastic about interacting with art and seeing how art and music can intersect and create an experience,” Mills said.

The exhibition contains modern and contemporary pieces by artists of African descent, who, the exhibit asserts, have been overlooked in the narrative of art history. The inspired playlists contain songs by African-American musicians. In creating these playlists, the radio hosts also became inspired by the ways in which these artists created their pieces.

“It’s hard to put to words sometimes the way you feel about an artwork,” Mills said. “I don’t really know other words to describe it but it’s kind of like a feeling. There’s something about music that encapsulates that.”

The playlist inspired by Leonardo Drew’s artwork contains Radiohead songs because the radio host felt that the group’s songs best captured the experience of viewing Drew’s pieces.

Hergenrother organized the WVFI radio hosts who participated in this project. He also wrote descriptions for the playlists that can be found on Spotify. Hergenrother and his co-host Andres Walliser-Wejebe made the playlist for artwork by Lynette Yiadom-Boakye.

“These are simple songs, mostly acoustic,” Hergenrother said. “A lot of them have the same rhythm behind them as if this is daily life.”

Hergenrother said he hoped to emphasize that with this playlist, meaning isn’t necessary.

“Each room has its own unique identity or ambiance about it,” said Hergenrother. “You have the visual and you also have sound, which normally you wouldn’t think about art in the context of music that people listen to. It’s [normally] classical music or whatever is playing in the museum.”

Hergenrother and Mills said there is also the hope of more exposure for WVFI with the exhibit. The radio hosts’ individual showtimes can be found in each Spotify playlist’s descriptions as well as on the website of the exhibit itself.

“All of our work is trying to activate the space in the museum in a different way that people might not expect, to make it dynamic and [allow visitors] to have meaningful interactions with the original works of art,” Mills said.

The Snite Museum of Art is located adjacent to the Duncan Student center on the University of Notre Dame’s campus. It is open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The museum is also open from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturdays. Listeners can find a full list of the playlists here

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