Celebrate 100 years since the groundbreaking of the building that made the Alexandria Waterfront.
November 12, 1918–the day after Armistice Day ended WWI–was the official groundbreaking for the U.S. Naval Torpedo Station in Alexandria. With an eye toward our future, we’re celebrating our past and our military history.
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Target Gallery presents the Opening Reception for Art of Armistice, a group exhibition that explores the after effects of war. This exhibition will focus on the physical, mental, and cultural effects war has on the world through the perspective of both civilians and veterans alike. This exhibition will be paired with different public programs in honor of the 100th year anniversary of the ground breaking of the former munitions plant that the Torpedo Factory Art Center now calls home. Reception, 7-10 pm, Artist and Juror Talk, 8 pm.
Performance artist Erin Devine debuts a new work in response to the 100th anniversary of the groundbreaking of the Torpedo Factory. Titled Contrab®and, this piece focuses on the tragic story of slavery and capitalism during the age of war.
Beginning at 1 pm, the artist drags a crate for a total of 4500 yards — the launch range of the torpedoes made at the factory. Viewers are invited to assist the artist in the completion of this memorializing act. The performance will continue through to the close of The Late Shift at 10 pm.
Excerpts from Erin Devine’s Contrab®and statement:
The site of the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria has a long and complex story. This performance reflects on Alexandria’s intersecting histories of slavery and the manufacturing of weapons, both of which are arguably unified by the objectives of capitalism … The lives lost as a result of slavery, and those who were killed at sea by the torpedoes made here, are inestimable and ultimately the casualties of man’s insatiable desire for dominance and resources. To mark a memoriam, for a total of 4500 yards the artist drags a crate of rock and detritus — suggestive of the scuttled ships and “fill in” (wooden crates filled with debris) that make the framework of banked out land where the factory sits.
Read the full artist statement here.
Waterfront and Factory History
The Office of Historic Alexandria brings their Portside History to the Late Shift. Visit various tables featuring projects and activities focused on the Waterfront history and torpedo factory history.
Healing the Body leads micro hands-on workshops. They aim to promote painting as a mental wellness tool accessible to everyone. Participants are encouraged to use movement, art-making, body-centered mindfulness practices, and women’s community as the main healing modalities. After, stop by Healing the Body in Site 2 Community Gallery.
Torpedo Row returns featuring artists from across the DC/Maryland/Virginia area.
Be sure to also explore three floors of open artist studios and galleries all night!