"When I Whistle" is presented in conjunction with an exhibition at the Swan Coach House Gallery, called "Print or Projection," which opened on Jan. 14 with three performances of "Whistle."
The gallery show runs through Feb. 19, but because the Swan House is a public museum, Carr was restricted in the number of times “Whistle” could be performed. The installation will be presented three times on Feb. 11 and then will fold its video screens and slip away.
Carr collaborated with video producer Bill Orisich on the project. The video elements will be projected on three screens in the Swan House’s entrance hall, while moody music from Atlanta composer/performer Adron plays through a sound system and costumed dancers recite poetry, with lines describing “some bit of bird song snagged in the folds of a dress.”
Said Carr of the video, “when you see it, it feels like you’re watching a painting come to life.”
The Swan House was built in 1928 by cotton millionaires Edward and Emily Inman, and designed by notable Atlanta architect Philip Shutze. The history center acquired the Swan House in 1966, and maintains it as a house museum, with many of the Inman’s original furnishings.
Some of those furnishings use images of birds, which makes the “Whistle” reference appropriate.
This is a new direction for the Swan House and the Atlanta History Center - co-presenting cutting edge and contemporary art installations inside its walls. The history center wants the house to expand its purposes, and become more than just “a static house museum, but a place that has surprises,” said spokesman Howard Pousner.