Meteor Stream is the latest incarnation of Terry Adkins’ ongoing cycle of site-inspired recitals on the abolitionist John Brown that began in 1999 at the John Brown House and sheep farm in Akron, Ohio. Commemorating the 150th anniversary of his Harper’s Ferry, Virginia campaign, Meteor Stream coincides with the inception of Brown’s October 16th 1859 raid on a U.S. armory to his execution by hanging on that December 2nd at Charlestown. Adkins dutifully explores biblical aspects of John Brown as a shepherd, soldier, martyr, and prophet through a communion of sound, text, video, sculpture, drawing, and ritual actions. He has also responded to new research for Meteor Stream that reveals incredibly far-reaching ties, binding the legend of this enigmatic American figure to parallel histories of Rome, the Janiculum Hill and the American Academy in Rome.
On Friday November 27, 2009, Terry Adkins' Lone Wolf Recital Corps unveiled the world premiere of Hiving Bee Song Cycle at the American Academy in Rome in conjunction with Meteor Stream, his current installation commemorating the 150th anniversary Abolitionist John Brown's Harper's Ferry raid, trial and execution. Hiving Bee featured composers Don Byron & Lisa Bielawa, poets Peter Campion, Eliza Griswold & Turiya Adkins, musicians Anna Hepler, Martin Brody & Barry Svigals, Designer Russell Maret, Titus Adkins, Maggie Dunlap, Jack Craver, Sam, Nicolas & Allegra Brennan, and other Academy fellows, residents and audience members. Founded at Zurich in 1986, the Lone Wolf Recital Corps is a performance unit with accumulative and rotating membership. It employs various combinations of music, text, actions and poetry to reclaim, activate and amplify the subjects of Adkins' historically based multi media installations. The Lone Wolf Recital Corps has performed at PS1 MOMA, the Studio Museum in Harlem and the New Museum, New York, ICA London, Rote Fabrik, Zurich, ICA Philadelphia, and The New World Symphony Miami among others.
Terry Adkins is an installation artist, musician and activist who pursues an ongoing quest to reinsert the legacies of transformative figures to their rightful place in the landscape of world history. His site inspired installations are usually staged within communities where the honorees have had significant impact. Under the auspices of the Lone Wolf Recital Corps, Adkins emblazons his installations with multisensory events that prompt the recovery and reenactment of the heroics of his intended subjects. He explores the relationship between sound and art as a muscular communion of inversion, wherein sculpturally based installations become as ethereal and transient as sound and sonic measures approach the visceral physicality of matter. Adkins considers his work to be a perpetual choir of beckoning gestures that transcribe the formal limitations of mere visual encounter. He is Professor of Fine Arts at the University of Pennsylvania. He lives and works in Brooklyn and Philadelphia. Adkins has exhibited and performed widely since 1982, and his work is included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, among others.