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Ensemble view, Room 21, south wall, The Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 2016. Photo courtesy of The Barnes Foundation.

Questions of Practice: Composer Jace Clayton and Barnes Director Thom Collins on the Making of Room 21

On September 9, the Barnes Foundation will premiere Room 21, a new musical performance piece created by composer Jace Clayton and curated by Lee Tusman. In advance of the performance, Clayton and Barnes Foundation executive director and president Thom Collins discussed the influence of the art and objects of the Barnes collection, and the significance of presenting the work inside the museum itself, rather than in a more traditional performance venue. Clayton explained the “direct dialogue” between the composition and the museum: “As a composer and someone working with sound, I’m very interested in the performative possibilities opened up by the space; the way you can play with acoustics…with positioning musicians in space.”

Composer Jace Clayton and Barnes Director Thom Collins on the making of Room 21. Filmed at the Barnes Foundation on May 31, 2016.

Learn more about Room 21 by visiting the project website.>>

Composer Jace Clayton, also known as DJ /rupture, uses an interdisciplinary approach to focus on how sound, memory, and public space interact, with an emphasis on the global South. He has released several critically acclaimed albums and hosts a weekly radio show on WFMU. He is a 2014 New York Foundation for the Arts Nonfiction Literature fellow, a 2013 Creative Capital Performing Arts grantee, and recipient of a Foundation for Contemporary Art Artists Award.

Thom Collins is executive director and president of the Barnes Foundation. An educator, art historian, administrator, and author, Collins joined the Barnes in 2015 after serving for five years as director of the Pérez Art Museum Miami, Florida. Prior to that, Collins served as director of the Neuberger Museum of Art in Purchase, NY and the Contemporary Museum in Baltimore, MD. Collins earned his MA in art history from Northwestern University.