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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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Product details

  • Hardback | 288 pages
  • 160 x 231.1 x 30.5mm | 861.84g
  • University of Texas Press
  • Austin, TX, United States
  • English
  • 157 color illus., 1 CD
  • 0292706863
  • 9780292706866
  • 2,131,795

Review quote

"Allen's work is like a collection of great country tunes-able, in a way that feels both familiar and mysterious, to tell about what could be specific torn hearts, dashed dreams, or troubled times, while situating these tales within broader human themes.... In our present climate, which may be with us for as long as the cold war was, Allen's country-crooner wisdom comes through, telling the small and tall tales of a few characters whose stories reverberate on civilization's stage." * Artforum *
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About Terry Allen

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 in New York, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Museum of Contemporary Art (MoCA) in Los Angeles. He has also recorded twelve albums of original music, including the classics Juarez and Lubbock (On Everything). 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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Table of contents

Introduction: Salvaging History: Terry Allen's Dugout (by Dana Friis-Hansen)
The Auteur's Prologue (by Terrie Sultan)
Dugout (Part I): Essay (by Dave Hickey)
Dugout II: Hold On to the House: Theater of Memory (by David Byrne)
Dugout III: Warboy and the Backboard Blues
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Rating details

7 ratings
4 out of 5 stars
5 14% (1)
4 71% (5)
3 14% (1)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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