Sophia Barnes

Hirshhorn to Open After Dark for 1980s Art Exhibit, Giant Outdoor Projection

The museum plans to cast a projection against the building's circular walls for three nights this month

What to Know

  • The Hirshhorn will open from 6:30 to 9 p.m. from Feb. 13 to Feb. 15.
  • The after dark hours will give you a chance to check out "Brand New," which features an outdoor projection and indoor art exhibit.
  • You may want to grab tickets for a Feb. 13 talk by artists Guerrilla Girls and Krzysztof Wodiczko.

Pass by the Hirshhorn on certain February nights, and you may be staring down the barrel of a gun — not a real weapon, but a larger-than-life projection on the circular walls of the museum.

Don't be startled: it's part of museum's upcoming exhibit "Brand New: Art and Commodity in the 1980s," a look back at art from the 1980s that confronts issues that may feel familiar today, including gender equality, commericalism, bad diets and gun control.

The Hirshhorn will extend hours from 6:30 p.m. until 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 13 to Thursday, Feb. 15 for the exhibit, which will feature the massive outdoor projection and about 150 art works on display inside.

Poland-born artist Krzysztof Wodiczko first illuminated the outside of the museum in 1988, in response to a charged election between George H.W. Bush and Michael Dukakis. Thirty years later, Wodiczko will return to the Hirshhorn and relight his project.

You can get a free ticket to see Wodiczko discuss his artwork on Feb. 13. He'll be discussing his art alongside feminist activists the Guerilla Girls, whose political work will be featured inside the museum.

There's also a free panel discussion on Feb. 14 about monuments, the First Amendment and art.

"Brand New" centers on a time during the 1980s when art became more commercial and every artist became charged with turning themselves into a brand, the exhibit's curators say. Some artists pushed against the commercialization trend by satirizing advertisements.

The satire itself eventually turned into a defining moment of contemporary art, according to the Hirshhorn’s curator-at-large Gianni Jetzer.

"I am excited to explore the tremendous impact of these pioneering individuals," Jetzer said.

Works by artists including Jeff Koons, Jessica Diamond, Erika Rothenburg and groups including ACT UP Gran Fury, The Offices and Fashion Moda are set to be displayed.

"Brand New" will be on display through May 13.

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