As a band, Small Black have had the privilege to work with a host of incredible artists for album covers, videos and live visuals. Their song writing is often inspired by not only other musicians and musical works of art but equally so from a wide variety of visual artists and their extended creative community. In order to bring these worlds together Small Black will host an art exhibition, exploring the themes of their upcoming album Limits of Desire at 7 Dunham Gallery, New York.
Curated in collaboration with Lindsay Aveilhé, an Independent Curator and the Research Associate for the Sol LeWitt Wall Drawings Catalogue Raisonnée, the group exhibition Limits of Desire (so-called after the band’s forthcoming album) will consist of works by 17 artists, working in various media.
Small Black Limits of Desire exhibition flyer
Aveilhé says: “Inspired by the title track, Limits of Desire gathers artists whose work confronts or responds to the arbitrary framework of wants or desires upon which we exist, as well as the ways in which we either feel restricted by that framework or we seek to create self-imposed limitations. Each artists presents a unique approach to the theme as manifested through their artistic process, their relationship with materials and in their treatment of subject matter.”
The show will feature works from frequent Small Black collaborators like Morgan Blair, who created the art for the band’s first two albums; Dan Baker, who runs intricate lights shows for the band’s live performances; Agnes Thor, who has frequently photographed the band; and Scarlett Hooft Graafland, who created the striking cover image for Limits of Desire. These are in addition to nationally and internationally exhibited artists Roman Liška, Ethan Cook, Adam Kremer, Peter Rostovsky, Jen Schwarting, Lauren Luloff, Jess Fuller, Joe Baptista, Kim Hoeckele, Borden Capalino,Ian Swanson, Anna K. Miller, and Austin Nelson.
On top of this exciting news, Small Black have also recently released the video for new track, Free At Dawn. The video was directed by Yoonha Park and was inspired by Hollis Frampton’s experimental film from 1970, Zorns Lemma. In Frampton’s film, the alphabet appears letter by letter and is then slowly transformed into representational images. Frampton’s film is part of the Criterion Collection.
Small Black’s video for Free At Dawn uses a similar technique by flashing the letters that make up Free At Dawn and filming in first person point of view showing footage of crossing the Brooklyn Bridge.
Shot on 16mm film and with the same camera and lenses that Frampton was likely using, the video is a paean to Brooklyn. Director Park says: “One thing among many that I love about the original film is it’s a very specific time capsule of how New York looked and felt in that precise moment. We wanted to capture our own moment in New York.”
Limits of Desire, Small Black’s new album, is set for release on May 13 via Jagjaguwar.
The opening reception for the Limits of Desire exhibition will take place on Friday May 10 from 7:00 – 10:00pm and will include an after-party DJ set by the band from 10-11pm.