40th Anniversary

Process + Place: Mark Thompson, Semaphore

February 12–March 19; Sunday–Thursday 12-5PM
Headlands Gym

Opening reception Sunday, February 12, 3–5PM.

Closed February 19-20.

40 years ago, Mark Thompson (AIR ‘86) was part of the initial cohort of artists who laid the foundations for what would become Headlands Center for the Arts. To mark the close of its 40th year, Headlands invited Thompson back to create a new work in dialogue with the place and reflective of the passage of time – both at Headlands and in his own creative life.

Conceived of in response to the resonant qualities of the Gym, Semaphore harkens back to key works in Thompson’s oeuvre: Immersion (1973–76), and Thompson’s collaboration with dancer Joanna Haigood, The keeping of bees is like the directing of sunshine (1987) presented at Headlands. A lifelong beekeeper, both works included delicate, more symbiotic relationships with living beehives.

Revisiting these iconic works, Semaphore brings the past to the present, and transforms The Gym into a multisensory installation utilizing sound, video, architectural intervention, and beeswax. With its tight focus and abstracted interplay between human and swarm, Semaphore speaks to the cyclical nature of time and the possibilities of inter-species communication.

Semaphore takes place in the Gym, a space accessible to people with mobility aids. Additional programming takes place in Building 944. First-floor spaces in 944 (Mess Hall, Key Room, Latrine, The Commons) are accessible to people with mobility aids. Second- and third-floor spaces (including Project Space) are currently accessible only by stairs.

Headlands assess Covid safety protocol on an ongoing basis and may require mask wearing indoors regardless of vaccination status. Masks will be available on site.