HAVE YOU EVER DIALED A POEM?
Room service isn't the only number you’ll be dialing at The Joule thanks to this latest gallery pop-up exhibition.
Push a button on that old-school phone near The Lobby Bar and don’t be surprised when you hear some lovely verse through the receiver.
This audible work of art is one of many brought to you by Los Angeles and Mexico City-based contemporary art gallery Morán Morán. With contributions from an eclectic array of artists, this pop-up exhibition is the latest chapter in a decade-long tradition of art takeovers at
The Joule. (Standouts from exhibitions past include the bronze, life-like sculptures of Tony Matelli; Haas Brothers’ 10-foot-tall furry work, King Dong; and last year’s partnerships with London-based gallery Josh Lilley and international gallery Perrotin.)
The collaboration with Morán Morán celebrates the annual return of the Dallas Art Fair and centers around the works of John Giorno, a legendary American poet, performance artist, and AIDS activist who pushed the boundaries of writing and visual art. His best-known works—aside from being immortalized in Andy Warhol’s almost six-hour film Sleep—are his large, text-based pieces, which colorfully blast out missives such as “DON’T WAIT FOR ANYTHING” and the cheeky “PREFER CRYING IN A LIMO TO LAUGHING ON A BUS.” (Both of which will be making their way to The Joule.)
Now, back to that poetic phone... A push-button edition of his DIAL-A-POEM telephones will be installed with the exhibition. These iconic phones contain 293 poems from 135 poets and artists, digitally recorded from 1968 to 2019. The service’s first iteration in 1968 was dialed by over one million users, achieving Giorno’s goal of creating an accessible way of connecting people to groundbreaking poets.
With kimono silks, mannequins outfitted in beaded suits, massive banners, and surfboards, the pop-up will follow Giorno’s vibrant, colorful lead, featuring works by Chelsea Culprit, Keltie Ferris, Becky Kolsrud, Eric N. Mack, Raúl de Nieves, Cauleen Smith,
David Benjamin Sherry, Soil Thornton, and Kon Trubkovich. You’ll also find works by Borna Sammak, who stunned at Dallas Contemporary last Spring with a mixed-media solo show and Oscar Tuazon, whose solo show opened The Power Station in 2011.
The John Giorno estate joined Morán Morán’s roster in 2021, a landmark year for the gallery, as it expanded its L.A. space and opened its first international outpost in the rich, cultural hotbed that is Mexico City. This project at The Joule continues that celebration of both the artist’s and gallery’s playful, avant-garde spirit.
Such energy is also captured in the gallery’s latest book, Cherry Blossoms are Razor Blades, titled after one of Giorno’s works. It features writing from the likes of Mason J. (2022 Lambda Literary Award winner), Savannah Knoop (writer JT LeRoy’s alter ego), Slava Mogutin (exiled Russian writer and artist), Mel Ottenberg (Rihanna’s stylist and Interview Magazine’s Editor-in-Chief), Juan A. Ramírez (The New York Times theater critic), and Alejandro Varela (Apogee Journal’s Editor-at-Large).
The hotel’s reputation as a champion of public art is reflected through its rotating installations of contemporary artists and also in its museum-caliber collection owned by proprietor Tim Headington, featuring blue-chip works by artists including Tony Cragg, Andy Warhol, Ellsworth Kelly, and Tony Tasset. (If Tasset’s name isn’t familiar, his eye most certainly is. The iconic 30-foot-tall sculpture across Main Street is modeled after the artist’s iris.) The commingling of fine art and public space is central to the DNA of The Joule and brings fresh perspective to guests, visiting art patrons, and locals who stop to engage while grabbing a morning cup of coffee. —Juan A. Ramírez
The Details: View works from the Morán Morán pop-up through Spring. Find the book, Cherry Blossoms are Razor Blades, inside Hotel Shop.
Image: Raúl de Nieves, The Twenty Ninth Divine Sorcerer (2023).