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University of Texas Press, Jun 1, 2005 - Art - 274 pages
How do you tell a story that’s about baseball and jazz . . . Civil War battles and Cold War paranoia . . . love and death . . . true stories and lies . . . and a boy growing up on the flat sprawl of West Texas? Acclaimed visual artist and singer-songwriter Terry Allen created a multimedia work—Dugout—that combines writing and painting, video/sculpture installations, and musical theater to narrate, in his words, “a love story, an investigation into how memory is invented . . . a kind of supernatural-jazz-sport-history-ghost-blood-fiction.” A three-part work based loosely on the lives of Allen’s parents, Dugout has been exhibited and performed in Texas, California, and New Mexico, as well as on National Public Radio. This volume adds another dimension to the Dugout corpus by presenting the work in book form. The heart of the book is Dugout itself. Dugout I incorporates poetry, prose, and images of two- and three-dimensional artworks to evoke the memories of Allen’s parents, a retired baseball player and a former jazz pianist. Dugout II: Hold On to the House universalizes Allen’s West Texas roots by fictionalizing his childhood memories into a series of video tableaux projected upon an archetypal house structure. Dugout III: Warboy and the Backboard Blues presents the script of a musical theater piece that describes his parents’ shock at the unexpected outer space arrival of their “whatsit” son—a boy growing up in a world so different from their own that he might as well be an alien. Juxtaposed among the three parts of Dugout are essays by David Byrne, artist and cofounder of the Talking Heads; Dave Hickey, art critic and recipient of a MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant; Dana Friis-Hansen, Director of the Austin Museum of Art; and Terrie Sultan, Director of Blaffer Gallery, the Art Museum of the University of Houston. The book also includes a CD of a live performance of Dugout III. This lively combination of Allen’s work and others’ responses adds an intriguing layer to the evocative, atmospheric, multisensory experience of Dugout.

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About the author (2005)

TERRY ALLEN is a visual artist and songwriter who has received numerous awards and honors, including Guggenheim and National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships and induction into the Buddy Holly Walk of Fame. His art has been shown throughout the United States and Europe and is represented in major private and public collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. He has also recorded eleven albums of original music, including the classics Juarez and Lubbock (on everything) and his most recent, Salivation. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

David Byrne (born May 14, 1952) is a Scottish-American musician and artist perhaps best known as a founding member and principal songwriter of the new wave band Talking Heads, which was active between 1974 and 1991. Since then, Byrne has released his own solo projects on record, and worked in a variety of media, including film, photography, opera, and Internet-based projects. He has received Grammy, Oscar, and Golden Globe awards for his achievements. In 1981, Byrne partnered with choreographer Twyla Tharp, scoring "The Catherine Wheel," a ballet prominently featuring unusual rhythms and lyrics. Productions of "The Catherine Wheel" appeared on Broadway that same year. Byrne is also known for his activism in support of increased cycling, and for having used a bike as his main means of transport for most of his life, especially cycling around New York, where he has designed innovative bicycle parking racks. He has written widely on cycling, including a 2009 book, Bicycle Diaries. In August 2009, he auctioned his Montague folding bike in order to raise money for the London Cycling Campaign. His title Bicycle Diaries made the New York Times Best Seller List for 2011.

Dave Hickey has written for most major American cultural publications. Formerly Executive Editor for Art in America, Hickey's publications include Prior Convictions (1989), The Invisible Dragon: Four Essays on Beauty (1993), and Air Guitar: Essays on Art & Democracy (1997). Hickey received the Frank Jewett Mather Award for Distinction in Art Criticism in 1994. He is currently Associate Professor of Art Criticism and Theory at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas 010.

Terrie Sultan is Director of the Parrish Art Museum. Her many publications include Chuck Close Prints: Process and Collaboration and James Surls: The Splendora Years, 1977-1997.

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