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The Oldest Song We Know

Curated by Dana Turkovic

September 11 – November 10, 2007

Qbox gallery is pleased to inaugurate its Qbox Residency Program and the first residency program for artists in Greece with the solo exhibition of artists Megan and Murray McMillan, titled The Oldest Song We Know. The show will consist of one video, an installation and three photographs. The exhibition is curated by Dana Turkovic, an independent curator based in St. Louis.


In the curator’s words “The Oldest Song We Know [...] perfectly illustrates the power of site on a project, dealing with themes between old and new, displacement and destruction, and highlighting specific instances where objects when used in a new context, can lose meaning, be rediscovered, and gain new meaning.”


In their solo exhibition, Megan and Murray McMillan comment on the vulnerability of man-made civilizations. They have built a model city out of clear Coroplast where photos of buildings from American cities –Chrysler Building, Space Needle, Reunion Tower etc.– have been used as the city’s façade to make an amalgamated city. In the video piece, the city is pulled and submerged by “humans” while accompanied by a minimalist song, the Seikilos epitaph, dated from 200 B.C., which is considered to be the oldest complete musical composition with lyrics. A tidal wave, made from plastic foam, spills from the gallery’s window and floods the exhibition space. As part of the city floats on the tidal wave, the installation succeeds in bringing real time into the exhibition and interacts in tandem with the video.


As Dana Turkovic comments “Submerged images, logos, signs and symbols into the ocean, a symbolic transformation, its flatness, a façade or a frieze of sorts makes what could be its final journey. In much of the McMillan’s work a story is told, through movement, dance, sound and visual beauty, these works are a reference to the gods and their symposiums on the fate of Atlantis carved on the Parthenon. The McMillan’s comment on the impact of their ancient surroundings: “any city is vulnerable and subject to the whims of nature, being in Greece highlights this fact, where the foundations of a very sophisticated ancient culture are everywhere, it's easy to see the vulnerability of a seemingly indestructible civilization.”


Megan and Murray McMillan have collaborated as video and installation artists since 2002. They are currently participating in the 10th Istanbul Biennial and have been the recipients of numerous awards including grants from the Dallas Museum of Art and Purdue University.


Megan McMillan (b. 1975) completed graduate work in Art History and Critical Theory at California State University, Long Beach. Murray McMillan (b. 1973) received an MFA in Transmedia from the University of Texas at Austin. The McMillans live and work in Providence, Rhode Island where Murray McMillan teaches at Roger Williams University.


The Qbox Residency Program is part of Qbox gallery, based in Athens, Greece. The residency is held on the island of Kea, in the Cyclades group of islands, located one hour by boat from southern Athens.  It is tailored to international emerging and mid-career artists as well as to up and coming art critics and curators.

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