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Beth Sorensen
Office of Communications

Acclaimed installation artist Ann Hamilton discusses her most recent projects

Hamilton appears as part of the Stephen E. Ostrow Distinguished Visitors Program in the Visual Arts, bringing acclaimed individuals in the arts to the college and to Portland

WHAT: Contemporary artist Ann Hamilton will discuss her most recent installation projects, including The World Languages Center at the Seattle Public Library, "Corpus" for Mass MOCA, and the Tower Project in San Francisco.

WHEN: 7:00 p.m., Monday, April 11

WHERE: Vollum Lecture Hall, Reed College
3203 SE Woodstock Blvd.

COST: The lecture is free and open to the public

CONTACT: For more information, please consult the Reed events website or call the Reed events lines at 503/777-7755.

Ann Hamilton
Ann Hamilton’s temporal, poetic works on the nature of language and the body have defined contemporary installations art over the last 20 years. The list of spaces she has exhibited reads much like the history of alternative spaces, biennials, and international exhibitions. These include the San Palo Biennale, The Carnegie International, The DIA Center, and the Tate in London, to name a few. Among her many impressive accomplishments are a MacArthur Fellowship in 1993, an N.E.A. Visual Arts Fellowship in 1993, and serving as the United States representative for the 1999 Venice Biennale.

Hamilton began her studies in Textile Design at the University of Kansas and received her MFA in sculpture from Yale University in 1985.

While at Yale, her work began to address the skin of the architecture that houses the body. Central to much of her work are issues of labor, the bodies performance and the "tableaux" or didactic display. She referred to her early works as "performance tableaux".

Hamilton has made over 60 installations to date. These site responsive works are done through a process of research and study. Each of them is completely unique and unrepeatable. Primarily Hamilton uses ephemeral materials, projection, light, sound, and the movement of our bodies. These spaces are more of an experience, a performance for the viewer, than a form.

While at Reed, Hamilton will meet with students and talk about her working process, which involves research into the political, socio-geography, and economic history of the place, getting to know the people who live and work there, and collecting metaphorical and poetic materials that can serve as linguistic devices. She describes her work as collections of bodies of knowledge.

Hamilton’s lecture will explore several of her recent projects including "Corpus" at Mass MOCA, her commission for the Seattle Public Library and the Tower Project in San Francisco.

In September 2004, Hamilton’s work "Corpus" opened at Mass MOCA in Amherst, Massachusetts. In this work, motorized paper dispensers released and blew paper over the vast museum space while speakers whispered hypnotic words through the space. This haunting work made one profoundly aware of the lack of written words on the paper as the sound of words and paper flew threw the air and piled on the floor over the many month of the exhibition.

Hamilton recently completed a commission for Seattle’s New Public Library, a building designed by internationally recognized architect Rem Koolhaas. Hamilton’s work quietly occupies the 7,200 square foot maple floor of the Library in World Languages Center. Using the opening lines of 556 classic texts Hamilton carved each in reverse in 11 different languages into the floor.

Stephen E. Ostrow Distinguished Visitors Program in the Visual Arts
The Stephen E. Ostrow Distinguished Visitors Program in the Visual Arts was established by a generous 1988 gift from Edward and Sue Cooley and John and Betty Gray in support of art history and its place in the humanities. The lecture program enables Reed College’s art department to bring distinguished individuals in the arts to the college for periods of up to a week. These visitors give public lectures and seminars with students. Robert Morris, Michael Fried, Leo Steinberg, Linda Nochlin, Al Held, Dennis Oppenheim, Adrian Piper, Judy Pfaff, and Hans Haacke are among past Ostrow visitors.


Reed College
Reed College, in Portland, Oregon, is an undergraduate institution of the liberal arts and sciences dedicated to sustaining the highest intellectual standards. With an enrollment of about 1,360 students, Reed ranks third in the undergraduate origins of Ph.D.s in the United States and second in the number of Rhodes Scholars from a liberal arts college (31 since 1915). For more information, visit