Artist: Stewert Wilson, Niamh McCann, Nick Bolton, Jaime Pitrach
Thursday 14 March 1996 to Tuesday 9 April 1996
The ear is both a receptacle for sound as well as a means of transferring data to be processed internally. The four artists in this exhibition address the possibility of sound or the suggestion of sound as the fundamental issue at stake in a work of art.
This shared concern has resulted in a collaborative sound piece emanating from a speaker system throughout the gallery. Bernard Herman’s score, which was used to accompany an elevator in the film ‘North by North-West’, serves to create a tense ambience and a sense of expectation on the stairs into the gallery. The Hitchcock film has been left behind, but its mood is allowed to prevail. Similarly, Nicholas Bolton’s video installation, called ‘Judd Use’ takes up from the last known whereabouts of a Judd sculpture. The echoes of footfalls from the museum in which the Judd sculpture was last exhibited form the soundtrack for this film. Are we able to receive the technological information that his space user ( or is it a sonar device? ) potentially collates? Stewart Wilson’s ‘Touch Wood’ might well provide a tinnitus-free zone.. However, the set of headphones contained in his ‘room for one’ booth provides further blows to one’s ears.
The whirring of fans ushers in the touching of fingertips during Jaime Petrach’s painfully intimate piece. These office fans stimulate the still, projected images of hands into a cinematic narrative for the unexpected juxtaposition of commonplace objects.
Expectations rise and fall with the sound of applause in Niamh McCann’s double slide projection. Intermittent pauses function like the ear itself positing silence as the strongest motor for sound. The pivotal image is that of a chess game being played. The human scale of the playing pieces, reminiscent of an episode of ‘The Prisoner’ in which lives are lost rather than pieces taken, provides further disquiet in an atmosphere of fluctuating moods.
The channels of communication are all open and await the correct response. It’s your move next!