The Dallas Museum of Art and the High Museum of Art are collaborating on an exhibition that merges research, aesthetics, and innovative new design to explore the vast spectrum of sensory experiences and new approaches to accessibility and modes of communication in the museum setting.
Speechless will open at the DMA on Nov. 10 and remain on view through Feb. 23, 2020.
The exhibition is presented in Dallas by Texas Instruments and curated by Sarah Schleuning, The Margot B. Perot senior curator of decorative arts and design and interim chief curator at the DMA.
Harnessing the power and impact of design, Speechless offers audiences unconventional multisensory experiences that foster understanding of the varied ways in which we experience the world through our senses. The exhibition presents opportunities for new modes of communicating ideas beyond speech and words.
Organized in five major sections, the exhibition is connected by a central introductory space and sensory de-escalation area, through which visitors must pass to move between sections. Six contemporary designers will create spaces that fuse multiple sensory experiences—for instance, rendering sound visible or language tactile. round them and themselves participating in the alteration.
Speechless will debut new work by six leading and emerging international designers and design teams. Ini Archibong, Matt Checkowski, Misha Kahn, Steven and William Ladd, Laurie Haycock Makela, and Yuri Suzuki, whose projects were informed by conversations with specialists from prominent academic and medical institutions. Their site-specific installations and new commissions will create participatory environments and distinct situations in which senses merge or are substituted for one another.
“This exhibition is about blurring the boundaries between senses, media, disciplines, and environments to encourage visitors to interact and communicate through design,” said Schleuning. “Speechless is about what makes us as individuals unique, the challenges we experience through ourselves and others, ultimately defining the interconnections among all of us.”
Schleuning’s collaboration with designers, scholars, and scientists at the forefront of innovation in art and accessibility is truly pioneering within our field and creates an incredible opportunity to provide a truly distinct museum experience to our audiences, Agustín Arteaga, the DMA’s Eugene McDermott director said.
The High will present the exhibition in Atlanta from April 25 through Sept. 6, 2020.
“Sarah Schleuning began to develop this important project while serving as our curator of decorative arts and design, so it feels very fitting, and full circle, to co-organize this exhibition with our esteemed colleagues at the DMA,” said Rand Suffolk, Nancy and Holcombe T. Green, Jr., director of the High. “This exhibition dovetails perfectly with our ongoing and evolving commitment to access. Consequently, we’re excited to welcome audiences with wide-ranging abilities to experience these unique and immersive installations. We hope to learn something important about how such a diverse group of visitors interacts with these works as well as engages with each other within the spaces.”