As this was Rauschenberg’s first use of video, he spent time working with the studio technicians to understand the colors that could be transmitted on television, eventually selecting forty colors that would be used as the solid colors of the dancers’ costumes. Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, Chronology, Anne Livet, Brazos River: A Video Collaboration, unpublished exhibition catalogue, 1977, tape 2. Robert Rauschenberg Archives, Robert Rauschenberg Foundation.
Curator and art historian Lilia Kudelia presents “Art in the Currents of Television: Broadcasting Brazos River (1976)” for this special Tuesday Evenings presentation, bringing to light one of the Modern’s little-known treasures by the artist Robert Rauschenberg. Kudelia shares the origins of this unusual and perhaps prophetic work and focuses on the collaboration between Rauschenberg, the Viola Farber Dance Company, and David Tudor for the production of the Brazos River video, commissioned in 1976 by what was then known as The Fort Worth Art Museum and broadcast on KERA TV Channel 13. She notes, “Conceived by the artists and the curator Anne Livet during the period of ‘privileged access’ to the TV network environment, this first ‘television exhibition’ in Texas aimed to amplify the presence of the museum beyond the North Texas region, and despite its short-lived presentation on local television in 1977, the project shines a new light on the questions of preservation and restaging of TV-based artworks in the context of the contemporary screen-dominated landscape.”
Lilia Kudelia currently serves as a guest curator at Residency Unlimited in New York and has previously held curatorial and research positions at Dallas Contemporary, Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, and the Art Arsenal in Kyiv, Ukraine. In 2017, Kudelia co-curated the Ukrainian National Pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale that featured work by the photographer Boris Mikhailov. She holds an MA in art history from the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University, a BA in Cultural Studies from the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy in Ukraine, and was a visiting scholar at the University of Toronto, Canada.