Marfa Dialogues


Maria José Arjona: You Are Splendid! at Kunsthalle Osnabrück

Maria José Arjona, the inaugural artist to show at Ballroom Marfa in October of 2003, will open an exhibition, performance and workshop project at Kunsthalle Osnabrück on January 31, 2016. You Are Splendid! “is a process that continues until the end of the exhibition on Easter Sunday.”

Arjona’s project at Ballroom, Vault, in her own words:

Vault is a space transformed by the motion of a body. It is a process of meditation where drawing is the basic tool to address evolution, simplicity and life. The piece contemplates the cycles of matter and its deconstruction in order to create again.”
–Maria Jose Arjona

Read more about the project in our archive.

Arjona Maria José Arjona: Second messenger, 2015
Photo: Lisa Palomino
Courtesy: The artist and Flora-arsnatura

You Are Splendid!
An exhibition, performance and workshop project by Maria José Arjona
31 January – 28 March 2016
Kunsthalle Osnabrück

Two swings float through the former nave of Kunsthalle. A nest of cotton, shadow play of a corkscrew hazel, bird calls and a performance artist in plumage who is drawing with tobacco:You Are Splendid is the outcome of a research project lasting more than two years, which the Columbian artist Maria José Arjona dedicated to the world of birds in her home country. This work bears autobiographical elements in that Arjona began her observations of migratory birds while she was living in New York, the most northerly point of the hemisphere the artist from the equatorial region has ever lived.


A Walkthrough of Sam Falls at Ballroom Marfa

Sam Falls at Ballroom Marfa from Ballroom Marfa on Vimeo.

Video documentation of a 2015 solo exhibition by Sam Falls at Ballroom Marfa.

The transformation of materials and forms through duration and the elements, as opposed to mark-making and mimesis, weaves its way through many of Falls’ pieces in this visual arts program. The exhibition showcased select works created during Falls’ residency in Marfa in July 2014, where the artist engaged directly with materials and forms unique to the Far West Texas landscape.

Sam Falls was on view at Ballroom Marfa from March 13 – August 16, 2015. For more information, visit our Sam Falls page. You can also find Falls’ limited edition Now LP in the Ballroom Marfa shop.

Film by David Fenster!

Myths 001 LP – Connan Mockasin and Devonté Hynes

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Connan Mockasin and Devonté Hynes wrote and recorded the Myths 001 EP as part of the 2015 Marfa Myths. The pair spent the week prior to the Myths festival in Marfa Recording Studio with Gory Smelley, an engineer and facility growing in prominence as our Far West Texas town increasingly becomes a destination for bands worldwide.

This occasion marked the first collaboration between Connan and Dev. Their week together inspired three new compositions that focus and flit through both artists’ particular approach to pop songwriting. Connan’s choral melodies meet Dev’s throwback funk in “Feelin’ Lovely” and “La Fat Fur”, whereas “Big Distant Crush” showcases a golden coalescence of their respective talents for crafting heartfelt ballads.

When their sessions concluded, Connan and Dev treated the Myths attendees to a special, impromptu performance during the festival’s showcase at The Capri – no better way to celebrate a collaboration fostered in Marfa. The festival expands our goal beyond the studio and onto the live stage, offering more artists – and more fans – the chance to join our family.

The EP is now available in the Ballroom Marfa gallery and online shop! Visit our Marfa Myths page for more information on the 2016 Marfa Myths festival, happening in March.

Check out Connan’s interview with i-D Magazine for behind-the-scenes photos and tales from the studio.

Marfa Myths 2015 in Review

Marfa Myths 2015 from Ballroom Marfa on Vimeo.

In 2015 Ballroom Marfa and Mexican Summer presented Marfa Myths, a three-day festival of music, cinema and visual art in the high desert grasslands of Far West Texas.

2015 programming included a recording residency with Dev Hynes and Connan Mockasin, a sound bath created by Jefre Cantu-Ledesma, a semi-permanent outdoor mural by Liz Harris (Grouper), a presentation of Gregg Kowalsky’s live installation Tape Chants, and a screening of short documentaries and Holy Cow Swami at the Crowley Theater presented by CineMarfa and Anthology Recordings. Furthermore, live programming throughout the weekend will include sets from Iceage, Grouper, Tamaryn, Steve Gunn, Weyes Blood, GABI, Thug Entrancer, Co La, Bitchin Bajas, LBS. and Suicideyear.

This short film about the events was directed by David Fenster. For more information and tickets for Marfa Myths 2016, visit the event page!

Announcing the Full Marfa Myths Schedule!

We are pleased to announce the final Marfa Myths festival line up for 2016, including the addition of Connan Mockasin’s Wet Dream (a one-off collaboration between Connan and some special friends); Fred & Toody of the legendary Portland band Dead Moon; Hailu Mergia, the Ethiopian musician rediscovered and championed by Awesome Tapes From Africa; Bay Area bashers Heron Oblivion; and recent Mexican Summer signees Pill.

Not to mention that we’ve added David Fenster’s psychedelic mushroom movies, soundtracked by local Marfa musicians, to Sunday’s film lineup. Not. To. Be. Missed.

Buy tickets!

Don’t forget, residents of Brewster, Jeff Davis and Presidio counties get a Marfa Myths discount until March 1, 2016. Come by the Ballroom Marfa gallery to purchase.

Marfa Myths


Thursday, March 10

Welcome party with Pill and Fred and Toody (Dead Moon) at the Lost Horse (Free)

Midnite Movie at the Crowley Theater (Free)

Friday, March 11

Mary Lattimore at Wrong Marfa (Free)

Opening reception for After Effect at Ballroom Marfa with Heron Oblivion (Free)

Afterparty with Hailu Mergia and Awesome Tapes From Africa at El Cosmico (Free)

Saturday, March 12

After Effect walkthrough with artists at Ballroom Marfa (Free)

William Basinski performing in the Arena, presented in partnership with The Chinati Foundation (Free)

Open viewing and workshop at The Block with 5pm performance of a site-specific work by Maria Chavez. Presented in partnership with Judd Foundation. (Free)

Mexican Summer presents No Age, Parquet Courts, Connan Mockasin’s Wet Dream, Emitt Rhodes, Quilt with Mary Lattimore, Sheer Mag at The Capri (Ticketed)

Sunday, March 13

Anthology Recordings presents David Fenster’s mushroom movies with local musicians; Raum with Paul Clipson; and Dungen scoring The Adventures of Prince Achmed at the Crowley Theater (Ticketed)

MM Digital Schedule

Thanks to all of our amazing partners for opening their doors to us, not to mention the general community of Marfa. Discounted Marfa Myths tickets available in the Ballroom Marfa gallery for Ballroom Marfa members and all residents of Brewster, Jeff Davis and Presidio counties until March 1, 2016. Tickets to the Saturday night concert $15; Sunday $5 (a bargain!). See our blog for tips on getting to Marfa and where to stay.

Workspace Ergonomics Assessment on Marfa Public Radio in December and January

Ortega Root

As part of Äppärät, Ballroom Marfa’s current visual arts exhibition, we have partnered with Marfa Public Radio for a serialized broadcast of a specially commissioned short story by Ned Beauman. Entitled Workspace Ergonomics Assessment, the story explores tool use among animals, from ravens to crabs, over five daily installments on Marfa Public Radio. Beauman is the author of the novels Boxer, Beetle (2010), The Teleportation Accident (2012) and Glow (2014).

The serialized Workspace Ergonomics Assessment, read by Beauman, will air Monday, December 28 through Friday, January 1 at 3:18pm and 5:18pm (CT) during Marfa Public Radio’s broadcast of “All Things Considered.” If you miss the afternoon broadcasts, it will play daily just after the 7pm and 10pm NPR newscasts in the evening.

On Friday at 6:30pm the entirety of Workspace Ergonomics Assessment will be broadcast as part of “West Texas Talk.” The series will be archived on the Marfa Public Radio and Ballroom Marfa websites, and rebroadcast in early February.

Marfa Public Radio can be heard across West Texas at KRTS 93.5 FM in Marfa; KRTP 91.7 FM in Alpine and KDKY 91.5 FM in Marathon; and on KXWT 91.3 in the Permian Basin. Listeners can also stream the broadcast live at

Curated by Tom Morton, Äppärät is a show about the mammalian hand, and the tools it touches, holds and uses. Taking its title from the name of a fictional, post-iPhone device at the centre of Gary Shteyngart’s 2010 near-future novel Super Sad True Love Story, Äppärät is concerned with labor, play and the uncertain zone between the two; and with the extension of the body, and the self, through technologies ancient and contemporary.

Äppärät is on view at Ballroom Marfa through February 14, 2016.

The Future is Female: Ballroom Associate Curator Laura Copelin in A+C Texas

Copelin A+C TX

Caitlin Greenwood talks with Ballroom Marfa Associate Curator Laura Copelin about moving from Los Angeles to Marfa, curating in Texas and the future of Ballroom Marfa …

Being in a space run by (mostly) women feels natural to me. I was mentored by Elsa Longhauser at SMMoA, now Susan Sutton and Fairfax Dorn at Ballroom, even in art school, artists like Barbara Kruger, Mary Kelly, Eve Fowler, Catherine Opie, and Andrea Fraser had tremendous sway over my education. I was just given a shirt by a beloved colleague from the Otherwild shop in Los Angeles that reads “The Future is Female”—it rings true in my experience!

Read the full interview in A+C Texas.

A Virtual Walkthrough of Äppärät

Join us for a virtual tour of Ballroom Marfa’s current exhibition, the Tom Morton-curated Äppärät, on Vimeo …

Äppärät at Ballroom Marfa from Ballroom Marfa on Vimeo.

The short film, shot by David Fenster, includes commentary from Morton and a walkthrough of the show, which features work from Ed Atkins, Trisha Donnelly, Melvin Edwards, Cécile B. Evans, Jessie Flood-Paddock, Roger Hiorns, Sophie Jung, Lee Lozano, Marlie Mul, Damián Ortega, Charles Ray, Shimabuku, and Paul Thek. More info on the exhibition here.

Scenes from the AFI 2015 Geology Tour With Ren Lallatin and Jesse Kelsch


As part of the Artists’ Film International 2015 program, Ballroom Marfa organized a geology lecture and conversation led by Ren Lallatin – the subject of Brigid McCaffrey’s 2013 film Paradise Springs – and Sul Ross geology lecturer Jesse Kelsch. The walk took place at the Chihuahuan Desert Research Institute in Ft. Davis, TX on Sunday, November 15. All photos by Alex Marks. More info at our AFI 2015 page, and on Facebook.

Photos from the AFI 2015 screenings can be viewed here, and on Facebook.







Scenes from the AFI 2015 Screenings With Brigid McCaffrey and Ren Lallatin


Images from the Artists’ Film International screenings of Brigid McCaffrey films at the Crowley Theater in Marfa, Texas. The screenings were followed by a question and answer session with McCaffrey and Ren Lallatin, the subject of her 2013 film Paradise Springs. All photos by Alex Marks. More info at our AFI 2015 page, and on Facebook.

See photos from Sunday’s geology tour at the Chihuahuan Desert Research Institute here and on Facebook.