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AURORA BIENNIAL 2020-21: ‘Afterwards was already before’

AURORA is pleased to announce the curatorial program and details for its fifth biennial edition led by Curator Noam Segal and Associate Curators Tamara Johnson and Trey Burns. Titled ‘Afterwards was already before,’ AURORA’s 2020-21 Biennial will unfold over the next year in a new decentralized program format, kicking off with projects by artists Marina Rosenfeld, Jan Tichy and Jess Garland. As a whole, ‘Afterwards was already before’ will highlight the significance of interdependence by weaving together physical and digital events of diverse scales, ranging from the microscopic to the cosmic. Artworks will explore the construction of the public by asking who gets to be part of it, and how we—as individuals, collectives and as a species—are quilted into it.

Created in response to worldwide changes induced by the COVID-19 pandemic, the format of AURORA’s Biennial will include socially distanced and digital projects. An opening presentation for the 2020–21 Biennial will take place on October 28, followed by the launch of the program on November 6 with the world premiere of Marina Rosenfeld’s newly commissioned sound installation and performance Ssalute alongside a panel discussion with Marina Rosenfeld and Noam Segal. Rosenfeld’s piece will be hosted through November 15 and will take place at Laz Parking Garage, 1200 Ross Ave, Dallas 75202 (Entrance: San Jacinto Street), with projects by Jan Tichy and Jess Garland to follow.

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Watch our AURORA Biennial 2020-21 Opening Presentation for insights into this year’s program 


The title and theme of the 2020–21 biennial, ‘Afterwards was already before,’ addresses the timely politics of the loop, environmental phases, and the cycles that organize our lives. The heightened clash between the tightly dense structure of technology and the unpredictability of the natural world will be central to works of various mediums. Artists will investigate what happens when we fall in and out of sync with our communities and our environment, and postulate new models for building connections in these spaces. Cross-network collaborations will take place between the invited artists and a number of local community groups, sites, and individuals dedicated to arts and education. 

Read more about the AURORA Biennial 2020 theme


Marina Rosenfeld: Ssalute
Sound installation and performance
Dates: November 6th-8th,10th-15th
Open Hours: 7-10pm Daily
Location: Laz Parking Garage, 1200 Ross Ave, Dallas 75202; ENTRANCE: SAN JACINTO STREET)
Performers: Raquel Samayoa, Chris Doty and Freddie Jones
Click here to make your reservation
As part of the 2020-21 AURORA Biennial, we are proud to present the world premiere of a newly commissioned site-specific installation and performance by Marina Rosenfeld titled Ssalute, which will inhabit the upper levels of a parking structure in downtown Dallas from November 6-15.

Click here for  full artist bio and project description

Artist Talk with Marina Rosenfeld and Noam Segal
Date: November 6th, 2020; 2pm CST
Join us for an online conversation with Brooklyn-based composer and artist Marina Rosenfeld and curator Noam Segal to discuss Rosenfeld’s sound installation and performance Ssalute, which will launch the AURORA Biennial 2020-21 program. Rosenfeld’s works explore acoustic architectures and experimental forms of participation and sociality through sound installations and performances. 
Click here to register for this event!

AURORA Biennial Opening Presentation (Online):
October 28th, 2020; 1-2pm CST
Our opening online program will feature presentations from AURORA Executive Director Joshua King, 2020-21 Biennial Curator Noam Segal (Ph.D.) and Associate Curators Tamara Johnson and Trey Burns, and artists Jan Tichy, Tichy’s local collaborators and Jess Garland.
Click here to register for this event!

More programming dates announced soon. 


2020 AURORA Biennial Curator: Noam Segal 

Afterwards was already before is helmed by independent Brooklyn-based curator and writer Noam Segal. Her practice focuses on contextualizing and supporting artists in producing new media art. Segal received her Ph.D. in the Hermeneutics and Culture department at Bar Ilan University (Tel Aviv) and has collaborated with numerous international artists, museums and nonprofits alike. She’s presented the work of artists such as Neïl Beloufa, Pope.L, Sharon Hayes, Anri Sala, Ulla Von Brandenburg, and Pauline Boudry and Renate Lorenz at prestigious international biennials and institutions, including the Palais de Tokyo (Paris), Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), MOCO (Montepellier, France), Performa (NYC), Museum of Contemporary Photography Chicago and Tel Aviv Museum of Art, among others. More can be learned about Segal and her practice here.

2020 AURORA Biennial Associate Curators: Tamara Johnson and Trey Burns

Segal will be supported by Associate Curators Tamara Johnson and Trey Burns, who in 2018 co-founded Sweet Pass Sculpture Park, an outdoor exhibition space on a one-acre plot of land in West Dallas. Since opening, they have worked with over 100 local and international artists, university students and various organizations and institutions like the Boys & Girls Club, the Nasher Sculpture Center, the Dallas Museum of Art and North Park Center. Johnson, who received her MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design, is currently a visiting lecturer in sculpture at the Southern Methodist University, and Burns received his MFA from the Savannah College of Art & Design. Before moving to Dallas, they both lived and worked in New York.


The AURORA Biennial 2020-21 is made possible by the generous support from: TurningPoint Foundation, YPO Gold Maverick Dallas, Visit Dallas, Hartland & Mackie Family Foundation, Downtown Dallas Inc., M.O.B. Foundation, Preciate, Paperlyte, Headington Companies LLC, City of Dallas Office of Arts and Culture, Ruibal’s and InLight Gobos

Founding Media Sponsor:

AURORA would like to thank the following Foundations and individuals for their continued support:
Lydia and Bill Addy, Beth and Peter Beck, Nancy and Randy Best, Barbara and Mason Brown, Christie and Trey Brown, Molly Byrne, Lucilo Pena and Lee Cobb, Emily and David Corrigan, Catherine Corrigan, David B. Deniger, Claire Dewar, Bill and Rusty Duvall, Lahav Halevy, Fanchon and Howard Hallam, Cinda and Thomas Hicks, Mary Jalonick, Nancy and Mike Kerr, Carol and John Levy, Shea and Tony LoRocco, Sarah and Alan Losinger, Vicki and Brian Miller, Susan and Bill Montgomery, Jay and Ruthie Pack, Cindy and Howard Rachofsky, Cynthia and Charley Redden, Stacey and Gerry Ridgely, Deedie Rose, Catherine and Will Rose, Stephanie and Mark Ruibal, and Nicole and Justin Small, Robie and Fallon Vaughn.


To get a taste of past events, check out our AURORA 2018: ‘Future Worlds’ trailer: