ICA Philadelphia

Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania | 118 South 36th Street
PA-19104 Philadelphia

plan route show map

artist / participant

press release

ICA is pleased to present the third in a new series of commissions for the museum’s Ramp Space: an installation of sound and light by Nadine Robinson. Das Hochzeitshaus (The Wedding House) is a stack of illuminated speakers blasting out a blend of laughter and pentacostal glossalalia (speaking in tongues) through a blaze of blue light. It stems from the artist’s interest in the subject of labor, to spin social and cultural references that are read through, what Robinson calls "my own Black West Indian subjectivity." These references extend from Hamelin, Germany, (whence comes the legend of the Pied Piper, an allegory of greed and mass hysteria) to the Bronx, New York, (where ‘Houses of Joy’ is slang for the elaborate amalgamations of speakers that power street parties). The formal similarities between such a tower and the rooftop of a Renaissance "Wedding House" in Hamelin becomes the fusion point that Robinson constructs to transform the ramp into a chamber of hypnotic associations and holy laughter.

Nadine Robinson (b. 1968, London, England; lives Bronx, New York) makes mixed media installations that use sound to create intersections between Black music culture and White visual culture. "Das Hochszeithaus" relates to her recent series of Boom Paintings, named after the ubiquitous boom box radios of the 80’s, and to her 2001 installation Tower Hollers. Conceived during a residency at the World Trade Center Studios, Tower Hollers combines slave songs and elevator "muzak" into a wall of sound. It was exhibited in the group show "Tempo" at The Museum of Modern Art, Queens. Other group shows include "Rappers Delight (The Visual Avante-Garde of Hip-Hop)" at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA, 2001; "Freestyle" and "For the Record: Julie Mehretu, Senam Okudzeto and Nadine Robinson" both at the Studio Museum in Harlem, where Robinson was a 2000-2001 participant in Artists-in-Residence. She is a graduate of New York University. Pressetext

Nadine Robinson: Das Hochzeitshaus (The Wedding House)