In the second edition of the reScores series, I invited four artists from the East (Beijing, Hong Kong and Tokyo) to re-interpret cult directors from New York. reScores no. 2 functions as an attempt to reveal the sounds that shape our perception of the space that lies in between romantic idealism and visual wit found in moving pictures.
The series continues to draw parallels between sound art and film directors. As well, this on-going investigation encourages the audience to appreciate the rich dynamics of sonic art — an open-ended artform that continuously rebels against any labeling of the term 'sound art'. The artists presented are Miki Yui for Sofia Coppola, Feng Hao for Stanley Kubrick, Dennis Wong for Jim Jarmusch, and Edwin Lo for Darren Aronofsky.
A crucial aspect of working with sound as a medium is the environment in which it's presented. Like listening to an airplane cut across the sky, Miki Yui's sounds flirt with the listener as she amplifies the psychoacoustics of these moments. If we look at Yui's body of work, whether they are sound installations, compositions, or performative works, it is always the simple gestures that she creates which clearly suggests something else. And what is this something else? If we replace presence with absence, perhaps we arrive closer to what the artist is revealing.
Beijing-based artist Feng Hao creates aggressively sharp and textural tones that are as unexpected as a sudden blow to the face. Feng works with unpredictable patterns that somehow build-up a narrative not unlike scenes found in A Clockwork Orange. There is something very primitive about the sounds he employs, yet they feel refined and of this day. Hao works with electronic and acoustic instruments, and uses the 'accidental' chord to his advantage — plucking memories from a deep void. Clearly his technique evokes the avant-garde, rooted in destructive impulses with violent bursts that are carefully arranged.
Listening to the work of Dennis Wong is a durational experience and can sometimes be quite uncomfortable. Dennis Wong (a.k.a. sin:ned) utilizes noise and drone, resulting in a dense physicality that you can almost see and feel. In his series Noise to Signal, Wong created a platform or perhaps a movement that puts a framework around noise practices outside of the traditional boundaries of music. What if these activities are given the context of performance art? Wouldn't this objectify his practice? These settings require a different sort of attention and patience of an audience, which then allows something else to unfold. Wong's stunts trigger pain, though emotionless with a neutral standpoint that can be quite existential, falling between black and white; light and shadow.
Architecture of sound. It is an often-used term, but what does it truly mean? Edwin Lo addresses these ideas in a personal quest through his series Auditory Scenes. With these works, he reproduces the sonic environment of his father's work place, an oil supply ship, through field recordings and compositions. Listening to the series conjures images of large barges, abandoned ships and an overall nostalgia for the sea. The titles for his works inform these visions — Sea Wall, In Between the Distance, Mourn, and Tides in Limbo. Through his father, the artist has access to oil tanks and barges docked at the harbors of Hong Kong. As Lo documents these sites with recordings, what is revealed to us are tonal vibrations that resonate from the architecture. Because of the physical materiality of these spaces, the sounds can produce dramatic effects. Listen closely and you will hear decay, rust, grime, darkness and melancholy.
Studio headphones or reference speakers are recommended for experiencing the sound-based works in this feature.
Helen Homan Wu is a curator and producer in the fields of cross-disciplinary art, intermedia and site-specific projects. The co-curator and producer of numerous intermedia art events and exhibitions, she is the founder of Opalnest. Recent projects include Art Basel's 'Paper Rain', a short video for Marina Abramovic, Creative Time / ICI's 'Living as Form — the nomadic version' and Today is the Day Foundation's inaugural launch events.
Culturehall is thrilled to celebrate its sixth anniversary and the global community of artists and curators who have contributed to our growing online resource for contemporary art.
In the summer of 2008, David Andrew Frey founded Culturehall as a new way for artists to connect with curators, gallerists, collectors, and other artists. Culturehall has been honored to witness the outstanding achievements of artists whose work has been featured in our issues during the past six years. We would like to take this opportunity to recognize some of the many remarkable accomplishments by artists within the community.
The 2009 feature issue Framed by Nina Büsing Corvallo brought together four female photographers, including LaToya Ruby Frazier and Tiana Markova-Gold, whose work examines theoretical, political, social, and personal issues. LaToya's documentary photography about her hometown, Braddock, Pennsylvania, received critical acclaim during the 2012 Whitney Biennial, and her solo exhibition, A Haunted Capital, is currently on view at the Brooklyn Museum. Tiana was a 2010 New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow in Photography, as well as a 2010 recipient, with writer Saran Dohrmann, of the Dorothea Lange — Paul Taylor Prize from the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University for their on-going collaboration about prostitution and the marginalization of women in Morocco. This work was recently presented in a solo exhibition at the Camera Club of New York as the culmination of Tiana's 2012 Darkroom Residency.
Kelli Connell and Debbie Grossman, two featured artists who digitally alter images to re-imagine gender roles and identity, were included in After Photoshop: Manipulated Photography in the Digital Age at the Metropolitan Museum of Art this past year. Also a recent MacDowell Colony Fellow, Kelli was featured in Other Places, an issue about different generations of international artists whose photographic work explores gender and sexuality. Other artists in this issue, including Doug Ischar, were part of a group show guest curated by Tema Stauffer at the Camera Club of New York in 2011. Doug's Marginal Waters series documenting a gay beach in Chicago in the mid-eighties was recently on view at Gallery 44 Centre for Contemporary Photography in Toronto and featured in the Guardian Weekend Magazine.
Among a long list of gallery exhibitions of work by Culturehall artists in New York City, Higher Pictures included work by four featured artists — Artie Vierkant, Jessica Eaton, Letha Wilson, and Joshua Citarella — in the group show, Photography Is, in 2012. Artie, Jessica, and Letha also each had solo shows at Higher Pictures in the last two years. Letha's new series of photo-based sculptures examining the magnetic pull of the American West was recently exhibited in her solo show, Landmarks and Monuments, at Art in General. Cultured Stone, a solo show of work by another featured artist Ethan Greenbaum, was presented at Theirry Goldberg Gallery in 2012.
This spring in Chicago, conceptual artist Jason Lazarus's Chicago Works was installed in two separate areas of the Museum of Contemporary Art. His installation of work from Michael Jackson Memorial Procession is included in a group show, Love to Love You, at MASS MoCA, bringing together artists who explore the notion of being a fan as an opportunity for shared social experience and extreme personal obsession.
Constant Dullart's solo show Jennifer in Paradise opens at Import Projects in Berlin in September 2013. Featured in Being There by Jenny Jaskey, Constant also participated in an event at the New Museum in 2012 in which he released a series of works in response to the new Terms of Service conditions of several Internet services. Photographic portraits shot in Vietnam by Jamie Maxtone-Graham were shown at the Nooderlicht International Photofestival 2012 in the Netherlands this past fall. In Paris, featured artist Jo-ey Tang was selected to curate a group exhibition Forming Loss in Darkness at Praz-Delavallade as part of young curator season of Palais de Tokyo that opened in June 2013. The works in the exhibition set an alternative mise-en-scene of the rarely screened silent super-8 film Beautiful People (1998) by David Wojnarowicz, tracking the journey from slumber to death, with the history of material as a form of narrative.
Jesper Norda's recent video and sound piece, Right Hand-Left Hand, was installed in three adjacent rooms at the Gothenburg Museum of Art in Sweden. Culturehall highlighted The Centre of Silence, an earlier sound installation at the Kalmar Museum, in our New Artists Feature, Spring 2012. A Swedish artist living in Berlin, Erik Bünger will exhibit work in a group show opening at the Gothenburg Museum in September, Nyförvärv, displaying work the museum has purchased in recent years.
One of the artists selected for our New Artists Feature, Spring 2011, Sarah Palmer received the 2011 Aperture Portfolio Prize. A solo show of her photographic series, As A Real House, was presented by Aperture Gallery in Fall 2012. Featured in Traces along with three other women artists, Corinne May Botz was recently awarded a New York Film and Video Grant from the Jerome Foundation. The grant will fund an experimental video that will use the construction/deconstruction of a standardized patient simulation to explore empathy and the performative aspect of doctor-patient encounters.
Featured photographers Juliana Beasley and Christoph Gielen received Aaron Siskind Foundation Individual Photographer's Fellowships in 2009 and 2010, respectively. Sasha Rudensky, whose work was included earlier this year in Scout by Jacob Rhodes, recently received one of six fellowships granted in 2013.
Part of what made it possible for Culturehall to feature the work of this diverse and accomplished community of artists were the insights of exceptional guest curators from around the world. Culturehall has reached out to dynamic figures who shape the arts — such as curators, writers, poets, educators, artists, and gallerists — to invite them to share artists with our audience and to write essays about their work based on a curatorial theme. We've collaborated with guest curators in over twenty cities including New York, Los Angeles, Berlin, Paris, Moscow, and Mexico City.
Culturehall would like to thank all of the guest curators who have contributed to the site: David B. Smith (28/73/91), Jordan Tate (32/62), Ruben Natal-San Miguel (34), Nina Büsing Corvallo & Candace Gottschalk (35), Erin Sickler (36), Ian Cofré (37), Leeza Meksin (39/49), Shane Lavalette (40), Zeina Assaf (41), Elissa Levy (42), Alex Ebstein & Seth Adelsberger (44/72), Matt Olson (46), Melissa Levin (48/64), Emily Carter (50), Tracy Candido (51) & Chelsea Haines (51/79), Allison Browning (52), Debora Kuan (53), Silke Bitzer (55), Jenny Jaskey (56), Ethan Greenbaum (57), Amy Fung (59), Jo-ey Tang (61), Howard Hurst (66), Oliver Wise & Eleanor Hanson Wise (67), Amy Elkins (68), Corinna Kirsch (71), Tucker Neel (75), Anna Knoebel & Tess Knoebel (76), Lauren van Haaften-Schick (78/82), Sean Justice (80), Gerardo Contreras (83), Helen Homan Wu (85), Yulia McCutcheon & Dasha Kutasina (86), Pauline Magnenat (88), Legacy Russell (89), Elly Clarke (92), Jacob Rhodes (94), Elizabeth White (95), Cindy Rucker & Brad Silk (97), Keri Oldham (98), and Abigail Smithson (100).
Thank you also to all of the artists who have shared their work on Culturehall and to our friends and supporters. We look forward to building new relationships and featuring more exceptional artists in the years ahead.