Sound & Vision (Chicago, USA)

Sound & Vision
Art Institute of Chicago
June 11 – August 29, 2010

Christian Marclay
The Art Institute of Chicago welcomes summer 2010 with multi-sensory contemporary art and lively, provocative events with the opening of Sound & Vision on June 11, 2010. This exhibition in the Modern Wing’s Bucksbaum Gallery (G188) presents works from the last four decades by artists from John Baldessari to Moyra Davey that make art and music collide. On June 11, the opening day of Sound & Vision, the museum will also kick off Summer Sounds, a Friday evening music and performance series during the months of June, July, and August, in conjunction with the exhibition. Summer Sounds opens with the world premiere of composer and digital artist Cory Arcangel’s new piece, Music for Stereos, in Fullerton Hall. Other scheduled events include a Sound & Vision edition of the museum’s popular After Dark; Gard(en)Counter, a DJ and visual spectacular; Jason Simon’s One-Minute Film and Video Festival; and a screening of musician/filmmaker Cory McAbee’s hysterically funny, loony sci-fi action adventure Stingray Sam. The Summer Sounds series at the Art Institute is presented with Metro and Smartbar.

In the thirteen videos, single photographs, and installation pieces on view in Sound & Vision , art and music meet up in creative, thought-provoking ways without ever fully harmonizing. At the center of the show hangs a recent Art Institute acquisition titled Auto Series, created between 1971 and 1973 by American artist Robert Watts. These 23 photographs, lined up like the brass section of a symphony orchestra, capture drivers sounding their horns while passing the artist’s New Jersey home. Another audio/auto installation is the six-part Car Radios (Autoradios) by German artist Hans-Peter Feldmann , consisting of photographs taken “only when good music was playing.” Louise Lawler’s Birdcalls, a sound piece from 1972/81, Dara Birnbaum’s Pop-Pop Video (1979), and John Baldessari’s 1973 Songs: Sky/Sea/Sand, from the Hirshhorn Museum, round out the laconic yet systematic work of the 1970s.

Working since the 1980s, artist and experimental DJ Christian Marclay has visualized the musical in consistently funny and frustrating ways, most recently (2009-10) by creating cyanotype photograms using unspooled cassette tapes as photosensitive material. The videos of Cory Arcangel, David Hammons, Jorge Macchi, and Hirsch Perlman pick up this imprint of music on art in their work with the moving image. All the works in the show, whether older or recent, show low-tech inventiveness, rigor masked with deceptive nonchalance–and a real, unconventional love of art and music.

Sound & Vision presents amusing yet thorough investigations in which art and music do not connect in any synesthetic sense, but rather come together via acts of transposition. Sound & Vision will be on view in the Bucksbaum Gallery (G188) through August 29, 2010. Details on the Summer Sounds evenings follow.

Sound & Vision is organized by the Art Institute of Chicago and curated by Matthew Witkovsky, Chair and Curator of Photography at the Art Institute of Chicago.

Art Institute of Chicago