A 360-degree, multimedia marathon of art situated in a sprawling post-industrial environment, the fourth annual Basilica SoundScape, September 11-13, is nothing new at this adventurous Hudson venue. It is just an enhanced bit of business as usual, actually, a weekend with a star next to it to be sure, but nothing out of line or out of character with what goes down here routinely.
The repurposing of abandoned industrial spaces as hosts of fiercely contemporary art seems to be the signifier of a new era renewal, as MASS MoCA, Basilica, and about half of Brooklyn attest. The brainchild of a music world notable in former Hole and Smashing Pumpkins bassist Melissa Auf du Mar, Basilica Hudson is a music-first expression of the same nation-wide industrial reclamation theme that gave us the art-first MASS MoCA and Dia Art Foundation sites.
And Basilica has always had a clear house aesthetic, musically. No, not ‘90s alt rock, but long-form post-rock, electronic soundscaping, ecstatic world music, altered state drone, and groovy extensions of what, down in Kingston, is known as Deep Listening. Basilica festivals blithely blend pop and art as if the difference is barely even worth discussing anymore. On the SoundScape bill, one finds the sexuality-charged, polarizing indie pop of Perfume Genius and Jenny Hval alongside Brooklyn’s oddly ambient metal group Sannnhet and the Triangle Trio — a group of notable New York scene drummers plying the trance powers of rhythm.
But Basilica calls itself a multi-disciplinary art center and the SoundScape menu backs that up. Literary offerings at SoundScape include “The Night She Slept with a Bear,” a lit and sound collaboration between writer Holly Anderson (Mission of Burma) and composer Chris Brokaw (Come, Codeine), and “Writers in the Rafters” performances by Dorothea Lasky, Sarah Jean Alexander, and Ariana Reines.
On the visual arts front, Contemporary artist Dan Colen will present a suite of new, large-scale paintings from his Tar and Feather series — all made on site at the Basilica. The Tar and Feather series evolved from Colen’s infamous “Hamster Nest” performances with Dash Snow and others in the post-9/11 downtown New York art scene.
In the Basilica back gallery appears The Now Forever: this conflagration is progress, the NOW IS FOREVER! curated by Michael St. John with Tyler Moore, Carol McCranie and Javier Magri. Featuring: David Alekhougie, Nate Lowman, Nathaniel Robinson, Josh Smith, Borna Sammak, Fox Hysen, Harmony Korine, Brock Enright, Haley Mellin, Dennis Dawson, Alex McQuilkin, Suzanne McClelland, and Michael St. John.
Basilica Soundscape begins Friday, September 11 at 6 p.m. For full daily lineups and ticketing options, visit https://basilicasoundscape.com.
Basilica SoundScape, September 11 through 13, Basilica, 110 South Front Street, Hudson, https://basilicasoundscape.com.