Turning the museum inside out, the Rose Art Museum is proud to launch Universal Remote, a video art exhibition that brings collection artworks into spaces across the Brandeis University campus. Installed beyond the walls of the museum’s galleries, these videos invite the Brandeis community members to re-engage with familiar places in new and unexpected ways.
Art can offer a respite from the demands of a frantic world, and also enable us to see this world more clearly. While pandemic restrictions have precluded so many from this reflective experience, rethinking the distinction between museums and the sites of everyday life—and reimagining the spaces that art can inhabit—has never been more possible. During an historical moment that has challenged our most basic assumptions, it is only right to renegotiate where this opportunity for reflection and thought might occur.
Installed at the Shapiro Science Center, the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies, and the Brandeis University Library, Universal Remote invites viewers to consider the powerful effects of individual action and personal connection in three distinct and layered works. Kate Gilmore creates physical and theoretical chaos, questioning and reframing the beauty and order that can result from destruction; Ben Hagari examines authority and agency through measured craftsmanship and rich symbolism; and Adam Pendleton demonstrates how introspection and beauty can exist within political dialogues and personal movement.
Universal Remote explores themes—social relationships, psychological turmoil, and spirituality—that, since March 2020, have resonated with new significance within both individual and public consciousness. The convergence of social distance and social justice has shattered formerly static bonds and norms, leading us to wonder, what comes next? Demonstrating how tranquility can exist within catastrophe, and how destruction can bring with it the potential for change, the artists featured in Universal Remote point towards movements that might carry us forward.
The works in Universal Remote include Kate Gilmore’s Wallflower, 2006-2007 (Shapiro Science Center Atrium); Ben Hagari’s Potter’s Will, 2015 (Schusterman Center for Israel Studies); and *Adam Pendleton’s Just back from Los Angeles: A Portrait of Yvonne Rainer, 2016-2017 (Farber Mezzanine, Brandeis University Library).
Universal Remote is BYOH: Bring Your Own Headphones. To fully enjoy the works on view, we recommend that visitors bring their own listening devices to plug into the televisions where works are featured. The monitors support 3.5mm headphone jacks.
Universal Remote is organized by Sam Forman ‘21, Lynn P. Warner Curatorial Intern, and Elias Trout ‘21, Sherman H. Starr Family Curatorial Intern, Rose Art Museum, with thanks to the Shapiro Science Center, Schusterman Center for Israel Studies, and Brandeis University Library for their partnership.