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Jan Tichy:
Remote Pyramids (2020)

Website, video projection,  6 public artworks by participating young artists

January 12 – March 6, 2021
See location and exhibition details below. 

For the three-part project Remote Pyramids, the Chicago-based artist and educator Jan Tichy connected a group of resettled refugee teenagers from the Vickery Meadow neighborhood in Dallas with a group of teenagers with their own migration experiences from the Oak Cliff neighborhood through creative dialogue. This project builds upon community engagement models Tichy developed in previous projects, like Beyond Streaming: Sound Mural for Flint in Michigan. As an educator, Tichy was also interested in developing a collaborative relationship with local teachers and together with them reach out and work with young Dallas residents.

January 2021 marks the debut of the resulting artworks by Tichy and six young artists. On January 12, the project’s digital space, remotepyramids.org, launched. From January 23–March 6, the young artists’ projects will be on view at the Oak Cliff Cultural Center, and on the evening of January 23, a video projection connecting with the young artists’ artworks and the Remote Pyramids website will be on view at Dallas City Hall, initiating dialogue and creating a place to reflect on the past, share the needs of the present and contemplate the future.

Remote Pyramids began last year, when Tichy developed collaborative relationships with Dallas-based educators, activists, artists and cultural practitioners to launch the Remote AURORA Summer Art Workshop. Responding to the events of early summer, including the killing of George Floyd as well as the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the educators and participating young artists discussed topics surrounding public space, resistance and participation. Each student questioned history and the way it’s celebrated, and they proposed new monuments for public spaces in Dallas that are owned by and reflect their surrounding communities.

Remote Pyramids is part of Afterwards was already before,” AURORA’s fifth biennial, curated by Noam Segal and Associate Curators Tamara Johnson and Trey Burns. The local artistic practitioners Jin-Ya Huang, Eva Arreguin, Sara Mokuria, Sophie Lopez, Nura Husseini and Giovani Valderas worked with the young artists Josafat Delgado, Alexander Lopez, Andrez Rivas, Judy Kharchou, Sumaya Sakhi and Sara Yassoumali during this project. The educators in the Remote AURORA Summer Art Workshop were Maria Viera-Williams, Laura Quintero and Jan Tichy.

Remote Pyramids Program

Remote Pyramids: Launch of RemotePyramids.org
January 12, 2021 
Location: Online

The website accompanying Jan Tichy’s project Remote Pyramids will go live on January 12. On the website, visitors can learn more about Tichy’s project, the young artists and their contributions, the Remote AURORA Summer Art Workshop and more. The curriculum of the Summer Workshop will also be made available for free, so educators around the world can utilize and adjust it according to their own local contexts.
This online accessible platform to share, document and archive Remote Pyramids was developed and designed by Vesper Guo.

Painting Workshop: Little Free Libraries

Led by local artist Hugo Juarez, a private workshop will take place to paint and decorate the The River Little Library and The Wings Little Library artworks by the Remote Pyramids participating artists Alexander Lopez and Andrez Rivas. These works will be exhibited at Oak Cliff Cultural Center from January 23–March 6, 2021. This workshop is hosted and supported by Sweet Pass Sculpture Park.

Remote Pyramids: Young artists’ public artworks
Dates: January 23–March 6, 2021
Location: Oak Cliff Cultural Center, 223 W Jefferson Blvd, Dallas, TX 75208

Visitors are invited to see projects created by six young artists who participated in the Remote AURORA Summer Workshop this past last summer. The works by Josafat Delgado, Alexander Lopez, Andrez Rivas, Judy Kharchou, Sumaya Sakhi and Sara Yassoumali are presented within the framework of Remote Pyramids and will be viewable at the Oak Cliff Cultural Center through their storefront gallery windows and closed door windows, offering the public a safe and accessible way to experience this exhibited art. The works by these young artists are made possible by John M. Flaxman Library at School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Oak Cliff Cultural Center, SAIC Service Bureau and Sweet Pass Sculpture Park.

Remote Pyramids: Projection by Jan Tichy
Date: January 23, 2021; 7–10pm
Location: Dallas City Hall, 1500 Marilla St, Dallas 75201 Online Viewing: LIVE ON FACEBOOK

As part of Remote Pyramids, a projection by Jan Tichy will take place on Dallas City Hall on the evening of January 23. The work will bring together the images and thoughts of the participating Remote Pyramids young artists from Oak Cliff and Vickery Meadow.

Please note: Due to COVID-19 restrictions and for the safety of our audience, GATHERING WILL NOT BE ALLOWED at Dallas City Hall plaza while the projection is on view. However, we encourage viewers to drive by City Hall between 7–10pm or join us on Facebook Live to view this public artwork. 

Participating Young Artists

Click young artists’ names below to learn more about their public artworks, which will be presented at Oak Cliff Cultural Center.

Josafat Delgado: La Familia, 2021
Alexander Lopez: The River, 2020; The River Little Library, 2021

Andrez Rivas: The Wings Little Library, 2021; Girl and Butterfly, 2020
Judy Kharchou: Journey, 2021; Chechen, 2020; Golan, 2020
Sumaya Sakhi: Look Up, 2021
Sara YassoumaliA Girl Who Became a Mountain, 2021

Educators’ Bios

Laura Quintero Chavez was born and raised in Oak Cliff by parents from Guanajuato. She graduated from Adamson High School and attended the University of Texas at Arlington. She received her bachelor's in interior design and worked in the profession for four years before becoming a teacher. She has been teaching in Oak Cliff for over four years. She has taught architecture and is currently teaching interior design in Dallas ISD. She encourages her students to take up space and to become advocates for themselves and their community. She is currently working on a master’s in urban planning and hopes to continue helping students activate spaces in their community using art and design.

Maria Viera-Williams was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico and raised in an Army family and lived in multiple cities and states across the USA. She has taught school in public, private, charter and criminal justice institutions in Texas and Connecticut. While teaching in Connecticut Public Schools, she participated as a writer in the cooperative secondary curriculum program as a Yale University Teaching Fellow. She currently works in Richardson ISD, Lake Highlands High School teaching ESL English to international and refugee students and is Co-sponsor of the Junior World Affairs Council. Mrs. Viera-Williams is interested in world cultures and languages. She has studied Spanish, French, Vietnamese, and Hausa. Over her 25-plus years, she has taught ESL to speakers of over 60 languages. She has a B.A. in Spanish and English, and an M.A. in Linguistics, with specialization in Teaching English as a Second Language.

Jan Tichy Bio

Jan Tichy is a contemporary artist and educator. Working at the intersection of video, sculpture, architecture and photography, his conceptual work is socially and politically engaged. Born in Prague in 1974, Tichy studied art in Israel before earning his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he is now an associate professor in the Department of Photography and Department of Art & Technology Studies.

Tichy has had solo exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Tel Aviv Museum of Art; Contemporary Art Center, Tel Aviv; Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, CT; Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago; Santa Barbara Museum of Art; and Chicago Cultural Center, among others. His works are included in public collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York and Israel Museum in Jerusalem, among others. He is represented in US by Fridman Gallery, NYC.

His large-scale public art projects engage communities and offer platforms to share. For example, Project Cabrini Green (2011) illuminated the last high rise building of the Cabrini Green housing projects in Chicago with spoken word and Beyond Streaming: a sound mural for Flint (2017) at the Broad Museum in Michigan brought teens from Flint and Lansing to share their experience of the ongoing water crisis. In 2018, Tichy was one of the inaugural artists for the Chicago public art project Art on theMart. He also co-edited and curated Ascendants: the Bauhaus Handprints collected by Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, published by IIT Press.

Remote Pyramids is presented as part of the AURORA Biennial 2020-21: “Afterwards was already before,” curated by Noam Segal and Associate Curators Tamara Johnson and Trey Burns.

The AURORA Biennial 2020-21 is made possible with 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:  The Dallas Morning News

AURORA would like to thank the following 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, 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 Gerald Ridgley, Deedie Rose, Catherine and Will Rose, Stephanie and Mark Ruibal, and Nicole and Justin Small, Robie and Fallon Vaughn. 

Animation by Vesper Guo

Images above: Jan Tichy, Remote Pyramids, projections on facade of Dallas City Hall, January 23, 2021.

 Andreas Rivas, The Wings Little Library, 2021, 18x20x18 in., painted plywood and mosaic, books donated by John M. Flaxman Library at School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Alexander Lopez, The River Little Library, 2021, 18x20x18 in., painted plywood; books donated by John M. Flaxman Library at School of the Art Institute of Chicago. 

Josefat Delgado, ‘La Familia’, 2021, Five vinyl cuts, 4x3’ each, Oak Cliff Cultural Center storefront windows

Sumaya Sakhi, Look Up, 2021, vinyl cut out, 20x40 in., Oak Cliff Cultural Center storefront windows

Jan Tichy, Remote Pyramids, projections on ceiling of Oak Cliff Cultural Center