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The work of psychedelic rock band The Red Krayola stretches beyond a single type of sound, and the band itself has moved in and out of the art world since its inception. For cofounder Mayo Thompson, the only member who has been part of the band since its beginnings in Houston in 1966, The Red Krayola’s purpose is to inhabit the rock genre while playfully prodding its boundaries, questioning its role in culture at large, and keeping alive the spirit of resistance that has long been its hallmark. This fluidity and resistance to playing by any codified set of rules has in many ways become a massive work in itself. The 2012 Biennial marks The Red Krayola’s first museum installation, although the band has collaborated and dialogued with visual artists since its inception. During the run of the exhibition, band members chat live daily with visitors via Skype; when they are not online, a loop of retrospective concert footage representing the breadth of the band’s career plays in the room. In the Museum’s Lower Gallery, visitors can view and supplement a wiki-style digital index (originally published in the Biennial exhibition catalogue) that traces the band’s numerous, intricately interconnected networks.
On April 13 with its associates, The Familiar Ugly—a set of accomplices—the band will perform an evening comprising new songs, old songs, and free-form freakouts. On the following afternoon, selections from Victorine—an opera written in collaboration with the British conceptual artists Art & Language—will be premiered.
The Red Krayola's work is on view in the Museum's Lower Gallery and fifth-floor mezzanine galleries. They are performing on the fourth floor on April 13 and 14.