Empire

  • Duration
    April 12 – July 7, 2018
  • An art installation by
    David Burns and Austin Young

Celebrating New Orleans Tricentennial, EMPIRE will explore the history of people and place in terms of cultural legacy, historical narrative, and social constructs through the lens of the diverse Tulane art and archives collections, all within the environment of one experiential based artwork inspired in the process of discovery. The exhibition is a museum-wide immersive 3-part art installation featuring historic records, artifacts, and art all culled from the various cultural objects in Tulane’s care to reveal untold and unlikely stories that have nonetheless shaped the city. This project is a commission by the artist collective Fallen Fruit for Newcomb Art Museum.

Fallen Fruit’s EMPIRE exhibition at Newcomb Art Museum is made possible in part through the generous support of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Jennifer Wooster (NC’91), Lora and Don Peters (A&S’81), the Newcomb College Institute of Tulane University, and the Newcomb Art Museum advisory board. Newcomb Art Museum and Fallen Fruit want to thank the Joan Mitchell Center, Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, and Tulane’s New Orleans Center for the Gulf South, Amistad Research Center, Middle America Research Center, Louisiana Research Collection, and the Latin American Library for making this exhibition possible. EMPIRE at Newcomb Art Museum of Tulane University is part of “Fallen Fruit of New Orleans” a suite of site-specific projects taking place throughout New Orleans from June 2017 through June 2018, commissioned and presented by Newcomb Art Museum, A Studio in the Woods, and Pelican Bomb. “Fallen Fruit of New Orleans” was initiated by Pelican Bomb in 2015.

Fallen Fruit is an art collaboration originally conceived in 2004 by David Burns, Matias Viegener and Austin Young. Since 2013, David and Austin have continued the collaborative work.

About the Artists

David Burns is a life-long Californian and native of Los Angeles. He earned an MFA in Studio Art from UCIrvine and a BFA from California Institute of the Arts. David is a co-founder of Fallen Fruit, a contemporary art collective that uses fruit as a material for creating art projects that investigate the boundaries of public spaces, including urban geographies, historical archives and bi-located geographies. Prior to his work with Fallen Fruit, David was core faculty in two programs at CalArts from 1994 to 2008. Currently, David is faculty in the graduate program for Fine Art at California College of the Arts in San Francisco. David’s curatorial practice investigates narrative structures in contemporary art with notable exhibitions for the journal Leonardo at MIT; the Armory Center for the Arts and Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions. Concurrent to the development of his career in contemporary art and academics, David has also built expertise in corporate branding strategy, advertising and media as a technical consultant for notable projects with Mercedes Benz, Discovery Channel, SEGA Gameworks and others. David’s work activates the nuances of social spaces, public archives and cultural indexes by creating works of art that are expressions of people and place and reframe conventional concepts of the real-world with shifts of meaning in real-time.

Austin Young is from Reno, Nevada and currently lives and works in Los Angeles. The foundation of his career is from studying at Parsons in Paris. Early in his career, Austin transferred his interests from traditional portrait painting towards a long celebrated career in portrait photography. In many ways, Austin is more accurately described as an image-maker: his projects illustrate the sublime qualities of character that make celebrated people unique. Based on a nuanced visual language of pop-culture iconography, his trademark style and techniques have captured a broad pallate of musicians, artists and celebrities including Debbie Harry, Leigh Bowery and Margaret Cho, among others. In multiple bodies of work, Austin confuses personality and identity issues in confrontational and unapologetic image making about people who often split gender roles, stereotypical constraints and socially-constructed identities. Currently, Austin is self-producing a feature film crowd-sourced musical titled “TBD,” a musical play and film project that is co-created by everyone who participates. Austin is also a co-founder of Fallen Fruit, a contemporary art collective that uses fruit as a material for projects that investigate the hyper-synergistic qualities of collaboration. Austin Young creates works of art that are transgressive about subjective qualities and emboldens prescribed meaning with an acute focus on honesty and narrative representations of the real.

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