If you could listen to music while you browsed, would that change how you feel about art? Try it out at Theaster Gates’ installation, “Listening Room,” which opens today at Seattle Art Museum. Gates, a Chicago artist/collector who has some really interesting ideas about bringing people together, has re-created a now-defunct record store called Dr. Wax in this exhibition. The SAM space is a place where great music will be played by a DJ, and where visitors can select records to play, too. Gates has a talent for finding humble things, in danger of being lost, and releasing what he calls their “potency.” He also has a wry sense of humor and a way of making you feel like you could sit at a listening party with him, talking music, long into the night.
(Photo of Theaster Gates, with some of the records he salvaged from Dr. Wax, by Greg Gilbert)