Dia Art Foundation Acquires Dream House by La Monte Young, Marian Zazeela, and Jung Hee Choi
Dream House Will Be Presented at Dia:Chelsea from June 16 to October 24, 2015
Just Alap Raga Ensemble Will Perform on June 13, 19, and 27, 2015
New York, NY – Today, Dia Art Foundation announced the acquisition of a unique version of La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela’s Dream House, titled Dia 15 VI 13 545 West 22 Street Dream House. Young and Zazeela created this new iteration in collaboration with their disciple, artist and musician Jung Hee Choi. In honor of this historic acquisition, Dia will present the unique version at Dia:Chelsea at 545 West 22nd Street from June 16 to October 24, 2015. As a long-time supporter of Young and Zazeela’s work, Dia presented Dream House at 6 Harrison Street in New York City from 1979 to 1985 and has supported and hosted numerous concerts and recordings of Young and Zazeela’s exceptional work. This acquisition demonstrates Dia’s strong commitment to fostering in-depth and long-term relationships with artists.
Dia 15 VI 13 545 West 22 Street Dream House will debut with a special series of Just Alap Raga Ensemble concerts on June 13, 19, and 27 with vocals by Young, Zazeela, and Choi and Naren Budhkar on the tabla. An ongoing series of scheduled performances will be held between June and October.
“Dream House is a landmark contribution to the history of sound and light, a truly immersive experience, and one of the most important manifestations of Young and Zazeela’s collaborations,” said Jessica Morgan, Director, Dia Art Foundation. “Since 2015 marks Young’s 80th birthday, Zazeela’s 75th birthday, and the 40th anniversary of the Dream Festival supported by Dia, it is the ideal moment to add this unique sound-and-light installation to Dia’s collection and ensure its vitality far into the future. We are thrilled to activate Dia’s space in Chelsea this summer by presenting Dream House with a full program of performances.”
The version of Dream House at Dia:Chelsea will incorporate a newly designed, site-specific sound-and-light environment that was conceived for Dia by Young, Zazeela, and Choi. The work will include a new configuration of its traditional elements—Young’s sine-wave sound environment and Zazeela’s light environment—and will incorporate a new version of Choi’s installation Ahata Anahata, Manifest Unmanifest IX .
Young, a crucial figure in the historical emergence of Minimalist music, is among the most influential representatives of the American avant-garde. He began using sustained tones and expanded concepts of time in the 1950s and formulated the Dream House concept with Zazeela in 1962. Together, they have developed numerous sound-and-light installations and performances, among which Dream House stands as the essential environment for their time-based performances.
Dream House has been described as “a time installation measured by a continuous frequency environment in sound and light, in which a work would be played continuously and ultimately exist in time as a living organism with a life and tradition of its own.” Understood as a durational work to be experienced several times over a lifetime, the first presentations of Dream House took place at Heiner Friedrich Gallery in Munich in 1969, Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in 1971, and the yearlong presentation of Dream House at Documenta 5 in Kassel, Germany, in 1972. The 1979–85 iteration Dream House at 6 Harrison Street in New York, commissioned by Dia, was followed by MELA Foundation’s long-term Dream House that opened in 1993 and continues to operate at 275 Church Street in New York today. Dia’s acquisition of the artists’ Dia 15 VI 13 545 West 22 Street Dream House will ensure the conservation and future presentations of this momentous installation.
About the Artists
La Monte Young (b. 1935, Bern, Idaho) began playing saxophone at age seven and pursued music studies in the 1950s with such recognized figures as Richard Maxfield, Leonard Stein, and Karlheinz Stockhausen. At Yoko Ono’s studio, Young directed the first loft concert series from 1960 to 1961. As a founding member of the Fluxus movement, he edited An Anthology of Chance Operations in 1963 and orchestrated many of the movement’s key events during the 1960s. In 1962, Young began collaborating with artist Marian Zazeela, featuring her light installations, sculptures, and calligraphic creations in his durational sound environments. They became disciples of master Kirana singer Pandit Pran Nath in 1970 and their works have addressed both Western traditions and Indian classical music ever since. Young is credited to be the founder of Minimalist music and is a historical reference for sustained-tone and drone-based compositions, such as The Well-Tuned Piano that is widely regarded as one of the major piano works of the twentieth century. Artists and musicians including John Cale, Walter De Maria, Brian Eno, Yoko Ono, Lou Reed, Terry Riley, and Andy Warhol have acknowledged Young’s enormous impact. And together with his ensembles (from the Theater of Eternal Music to the Forever Bad Blues Band to the recent Just Alap Raga Ensemble), Young has influenced art-rock bands like the Velvet Underground, Faust, and many others.
Marian Zazeela (b. 1940, New York City) studied painting and calligraphy and has been working with light as a medium since the early 1960s. Her light installations and projection series have been widely shown throughout the United States and Europe. Since 1962, they have become an integral part of Dream House and the Theater of Eternal Music. Like Young, Zazeela has been a disciple of Pandit Pran Nath since 1970 and has devoted the last several decades to the performance of Indian classical music as part of their Just Alap Raga Ensemble. Typically taking the form of light environments and also performances, Zazeela’s works have been credited with influencing Andy Warhol’s Exploding Plastic Inevitable and have been the object of group and solo presentations at Dia, Centre Pompidou in Paris, and most recently at the Kunst im Regenbogenstadl Dream House in Polling, Germany, where a retrospective of her drawings was organized.
Jung Hee Choi (b. 1969, Seoul, Korea) has collaborated with La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela since 1999. Choi’s work has been presented in Asia, Europe, and North America at such venues as FRAC Franche-Comté in Besançon, France; Berliner Festspiele in Berlin, Germany; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and the MELA Foundation Dream House, New York; the FRESH Festival in Bangkok; and the Korea Experimental Arts Festival in Seoul. Choi is also a founding producer and director of Mantra TV—a cable and webcast vehicle for advanced arts in New York and Korea—where she worked from 1998 to 2006. Commissioned by MELA Foundation, her performance and installation with video and sound, titled RICE, was presented at the ongoing installation of Dream House at 275 Church Street in New York in 2003. In 2006 she received the Experimental Television Center’s Finishing Funds Award, supported by the Electronic Media and Film Program, New York State Council on the Arts, and in 2015 she received a project grants award from New Music USA. As disciples of the classical Kirana vocal tradition, Young, Zazeela, and Choi founded the Just Alap Raga Ensemble in 2002. Choi has performed as vocalist in every concert ever since, including those at the MELA Foundation Dream House; the five-concert Pandit Pran Nath Memorial Tribute Tour in Berlin, Karlsruhe, and Polling, Germany, in 2012; the Yoko Ono Courage Award ceremony; the Guggenheim’s The Third Mind Live concert series in 2009; and the Merce Cunningham Memorial celebration in 2009. Her work is in the collection of FRAC Franche-Comté.
Dia Art Foundation
Founded in 1974, Dia Art Foundation is committed to initiating, supporting, presenting, and preserving extraordinary art projects. Dia:Beacon opened in May 2003 in Beacon, New York. Dia also maintains several long-term sites including Walter De Maria’s The New York Earth Room (1977) and The Broken Kilometer (1979), Max Neuhaus’s Times Square (1977), Joseph Beuys’s 7000 Eichen (7000 Oaks, which was inaugurated at Documenta 7 in 1982), and Dan Flavin’s untitled (1996), all of which are located in New York City; the Dan Flavin Art Institute (established in 1983) in Bridgehampton, New York; De Maria’s The Lightning Field (1977) in western New Mexico; Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty (1970) in Great Salt Lake, Utah; De Maria’s The Vertical Earth Kilometer (1977) in Kassel, Germany; and Flavin’s untitled (to you, Heiner, with admiration and affection) (1973) in Munich, Germany. Dia also commissions original Artist Web Projects and produces scholarly publications.
Dia currently presents temporary installations, performances, lectures, and readings on West 22nd Street in the Chelsea section of New York City, the neighborhood it helped pioneer. Plans for a new project space are underway.