Arts Post
Posted at 08:21 AM ET, 02/29/2012

Doug Aitken to light up the Hirshhorn facade

Now those sunset strolls along the National Mall will have a new, eye-popping attraction.
Video artist Doug Aitken's "360 Degree Projection" wraps around the donut-shaped Hirshhorn. (Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden)

On March 22, as you near the Hirshhorn Museum, look up at a specially commissioned display on the facade of the circular museum. None other than prize-winning contemporary artist Doug Aitken was asked to create a 360-degree display of moving images, complete with sound, titled “Song 1.”

The images displayed will be based on a soundtrack — the song “I Only Have Eyes for You,” a nice departure from the city’s “Hail to the Chief” standards.

Kerry Brougher, the Hirshhorn’s deputy director said, “The facade of the Hirshhorn is not merely a screen for the projection of some fictional cinematic world--it is a turntable of contemporary life.”

The building, part of the Smithsonian Institution, was designed by Gordon Bunshaft and its circular, doughnut shape has become a landmark along the Mall.

For the last two decades Aitken has broken artistic ground with his installations. “Electric Earth,” won him the International Prize at the 48th Venice Biennale. He created “sleepwalkers” in 2007 for the exterior of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

About that song, it was written by Harry Warren with lyrics by Al Dubin and notably performed by Dick Powell and Ruby Keeler in 1934. Almost everyone has done a cover. And the version by The Flamingos in 1959 was selected the No. 157th of the 500 greatest songs by Rolling Stone.

The projections will start every night at sunset until May 13.

By  |  08:21 AM ET, 02/29/2012

 
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