Maya Dunietz
Root of Two

Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Omaha / United States

May 7–September 18, 2022
May 5, 2022
Opening reception & performance: May 7, 3–6pm

Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts
724 S. 12th Street
Omaha, Nebraska 68102
United States

T +1 402 341 7130
[email protected]

www.bemiscenter.org
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Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts presents Root of Two, a major solo exhibition by Tel Aviv-based sound artist Maya Dunietz from May 7 through September 18, 2022. Comprised of seven sculptures and room-sized installations unfolding across Bemis Center’s expansive galleries, Dunietz has composed a four month long performance. As the viewer engages with each work, the works become an ensemble, connecting across the galleries through the viewer’s encounters.

Dunietz creates an unexpected sensory experience with each work, penetrating and exploring different aspects of her oeuvre, which expands over a 25-year career as a composer, musician, and sound artist. However, as sound materializes, the pieces evolve and intertwine, allowing for a transformative experience. In the traditional sense, the works are independent as discrete objects, and yet resonate with each other sonically, visually and physically as visitors walk through the galleries. 

Commissioned for the exhibition, Bemis Center will present one of Dunietz’s most largest works to date, √2, from 2022. Composed of seventeen pianos, donated from people throughout Omaha and the region, are envisioned. by the artist as beasts grazing on the Great Plains—they roar and sing, tremble and snore, and seemingly come alive through transducers embedded in each piano. Programmed through computer software and physically linked through a network of cables, the transducers “play” on (and through) the pianos a new score by Dunietz that explores the infiniteness and irrationality of the square root of two. Her composition continuously searches for that perfect middle ground, but never quite attains it. Visitors are invited to touch, stroke and lay down on and amongst these groaning beasts, feeling the sound through their bones as well as their ears. Through her varied practice, Dunietz explores pyschoacoustics, and this work is a prime example of how the interaction of the sounds from the pianos mixes with our human experience, expanding how sound is perceived. 

Of the seven featured works, six were created by Dunietz expressly for this exhibition. Several of these pieces involve in-depth creative collaborations, which highlights an important factor of Dunietz’s artistic practice as both a musician and visual artist. For this exhibition, she developed pieces with friends and colleagues: Daniel Meir, David Lemoine, Amit Drori, Ghedalia Tazartes, Shirel Inglese, and Yoel Peled. Rachel Adams, Bemis’s Chief Curator and Director of Programs and the exhibition’s curator, states. “Maya’s practice is extremely collaborative, which is something we value greatly. Her works make one think about sound in new ways especially through all your senses, which really speaks to her thoughts on equity. Adding this exhibition to Bemis Center’s history of originating innovative exhibitions, while also tying into the new Sound Art and Experimental Music Program, is very exciting.”

Root of Two will be accompanied by a scholarly exhibition catalogue, published by X Artists’ Books and designed by Omnivore. Contributors include, Rachel Adams, Chris Cook, Maya Dunietz, Michael Pisaro, Galit Eilat, Ariel Ashbel, Chen Tamir, Marcella Lista, Ran Kasmy Ilan and Keren Rosenbaum.

Root of Two performance series
Maya Dunietz and Roscoe Mitchell:
May 7, 4pm CT. Dunietz and Mitchell will perform within √2, a group of seventeen pianos.
Lori Goldston and Kyle Hanson: June 8, 7pm CT
The Fugu Plan: August 11, 7pm CT
Dorian Wood, Carmina Escobar, and Possibilities of Milk: September 17, 4pm CT

*This series will take place inside Bemis’s galleries, so performers can respond to specific works within the exhibition. 

Maya Dunietz: Root of Two is generously supported by commissioning sponsor Via Art Fund. The exhibition is also supported, in part, by Albert and Eleanor Feldman Family Israel Foundation, Artis, Nebraska Arts Council and Nebraska Cultural Endowment, Omaha Steaks, and Anonymous.

Exhibition and public Program admission: Free. Gallery materials are available in English and Spanish. Access details can be found here. For more information about Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, visit bemiscenter.org.

About Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts
Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts facilitates the creation, presentation, and understanding of contemporary art through an international residency program, exhibitions, and educational programs to inspire an open and diverse dialogue on the critical issues that give shape and meaning to the human condition.