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Bethany Collins

Bethany Collins, The Odyssey: 1990 / 1851 / 1980 / 2002 / 2000, 2020

Bethany Collins's one-person exhibition Bethany Collins: Tempest at Brynmawr College in Bryn Mawr, PA.

The institution's press release follows:

While in residence, Collins will produce a series of performances of The Battle Hymn of the Republic: A Hymnal (2023), a work included in the exhibition at the College. These performances aim to bring together community participants and audiences in sung versions of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic."

Written by the abolitionist Julia Ward Howe in 1861, The Battle Hymn of the Republic is perhaps the most familiar early American contrafacta, a musical term referring to a song in which the melody remains constant while the lyrics are rewritten over time. Each re-writing in support of a passionately held cause—from revolution, suffrage, temperance and Indigenous sovereignty, to the Confederacy and abolition—articulates an often contradictory version of what it means to be American.