Artist Hannah Hudson Invites You to Look, Listen, Bend and Stretch in Deep Ellum

"Deep Ellum's back" has been vomited out and up ad nauseum. The truth is it never left. Changed perhaps. Got its face kicked in a few times, then touched up with a lil plastic surgery, and now exists as an amalgamation of its roots and reanimations, with a strong neighborhood base that hosts both local and national acts.

And while the ruminations of grunge glory have hardly died down, progressive new art initiatives have sprung up.

Exhibit A: Tonight, intermedia artist Hannah Hudson will show her exhibit, Compliance, the newest show for the Deep Ellum Windows project, a raw warehouse on Main Street that gives artists the space to exhibit work that doesn't fit into traditional gallery consumption.

Compliance will run in conjunction with the group exhibition P_E_R_I_S_H_A_B_E_L, curated by Kevin Rubén Jacobs and showing next door at 2646 Main.

Hudson grew up in a small town in central Florida, just north of Orlando, and wasn't exposed to much art until she attended college at the University of Tampa. That's when she was introduced to the work of Robert Smithson, Christian Boltanski and Jenny Holzer, plus writer Vladimir Nabokov. She lugged those influences with her to University of Texas at Arlington, where she's pursuing her MFA in Intermedia and utilizing sculpture, printmaking, photography, text and installation in her work.

That work has shown as part of various exhibitions across DFW, as well as a few early exhibits in Tampa. But Compliance is her first solo exhibition. Her work will next be shown as part of the MFA Exit Show at UTA, and then a solo exhibition at A Slender Gamut, in Brooklyn this summer.

I corresponded with Hudson over a few mediums about her upcoming exhibit and how Deep Ellum Windows project is adding to the legacy of the neighborhood with progressive art endeavors.

What influenced you during the making of Compliance? My main influences for this installation are mostly site-driven. The space is so interesting and has so many beautiful yet mundane aspects that are easily unnoticed. I not only want to point these things out, but also let the viewer become self-aware of their presence in the space, and actively experience the space. The idea of existing in a specific moment in a place, and then existing again after something has changed, also is an influence that I have carried over from pervious bodies of work. This effects how we perceive what is real, and what isn't, and why. This also grows out of being influenced by other empty or warehouse-type spaces where I have made installations.

What do you hope patrons walk into the exhibit thinking, based on the title and before they've seen the work? I hope that the word makes them question why I chose that word. I hope they question how the meaning of it applies to what they will end up experiencing and how they participate.

Was that term one that haunted you throughout the process, or did you have it in your head for the title from the beginning? I didn't come up with the title for this installation until after I had the idea. Once I knew what I wanted to do and how I wanted viewers to interact, the word fell into place. And I am referencing the actions and interactions that might occur within the space.

What advantages do you find by working in multiple media and in a site-specific space? Working in multiple mediums gives me the freedom to make the materials that I use be cohesive with the ideas that I have. The space is extremely important in the installations that I make. The work is informed by and responds to the space in a way that completely ties the two together.

What are your thoughts on the Deep Ellum Windows project? The Deep Ellum Windows project allows artists the opportunity to explore and create work that extends outside of the realm of "gallery." It is both a challenge and a relief to be able to work without the context that "gallery" brings to the work. It gives us a place to show new work and operate in a different atmosphere.

What can we expect from your show? Well, I'll probably be wearing a dress (laughs) and there will be some compliance. I don't want to give too much away so that my viewers will have an un-tampered experience. Some actions might include: searching, looking, reading, finding, exploring, bending, stretching.

How did you put together this show? I put the show together by having a need to be cohesive, yet obtrusive with the space. I wanted to show my presence without showing my presence, but rather having the viewers make my presence mean something within the space.

What media did you start out in and whose work has put imprints on your own? Actually, I started out working with multiple materials. As an undergraduate, my sculpture professor, Kendra Frorup made me question what I was using and why. Working with multiple materials and even with space became a part of my practice early on, and was only encouraged by the people I have worked with since.

The opening reception for Compliance, a one-day event, and P_E_R_I_S_H_A_B_E_L is 7 to 10 tonight at 2650B and 2650B Main Street.

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