Saturday, August 24, 2013

A ‘sound’ base for art

The world-renowned art institution MoMA presents another dimension of new-age art with its first ever major exhibit of 'sound art’ pieces by some of the most innovative contemporary artists who play with sound and the endless possibilities embedded within it.

The artists featuring in the unconventional exhibition are Luke Fowler (Scottish, b. 1978), Marco Fusinato (Australian, b. 1964), Toshiya Tsunoda (Japanese, b. 1964), Richard Garet (Uruguayan, b. 1972), Christine Sun Kim (American, b. 1980), Florian Hecker (German, b. 1975), Jacob Kirkegaard (Danish, b. 1975), Carsten Nicolai (German, b. 1965), and Haroon Mirza (British, b. 1977).

Other participants include Camille Norment (American, b. 1970), Tristan Perich (American, b. 1982), Susan Philipsz (Scottish, b. 1965), Sergei Tcherepnin (American, b. 1981), Hong-Kai Wang (Taiwanese, b. 1971), Jana Winderen (Norwegian, b. 1965), and Stephen Vitiello (American, b. 1964).

A press release elaborates: “While these artists approach sound from a variety of disciplinary angles—the visual arts, architecture, performance, computer programming, and music—they share an interest in working with, rather than against or independent of, material realities and environments. These artistic responses range from architectural interventions, to visualizations of otherwise inaudible sound, to an exploration of how sound ricochets within a gallery, to a range of field recordings—including echolocating bats, abandoned buildings in Chernobyl, 59 bells in New York City, and a sugar factory in Taiwan.

The diversity of these works reflects a complex and nuanced field, elaborates the essay. “Yet the exhibition posits something specific: that how we listen determines what we hear. Indeed, the works provoke and evoke—both in the maker and the museumgoer—modes of active listening, and a heightened relationship between interior and exterior space.

“At a time when personal listening devices and tailored playlists have become ubiquitous, shared aural spaces are increasingly rare. Many of the artists in the exhibition aim for such realities, and the sound they create is decidedly social, immersing visitors and connecting them in space. In many of the works, links are drawn between disparate topographies and subjects, giving rise to new understanding and experiences.”

The show has been organized by Barbara London, Associate Curator, with Leora Morinis, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Media and Performance Art.

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