press release

Sounds like Drawing presents the work of nine contemporary international artists whose work exists on the trajectory between sound and drawing. With the American artist Tom Marioni's seminal photograph and performance One Second Sculpture (1969) as its starting point, this exhibition sets into motion a possible set of alignments or tensions between the conceptual task of approaching drawing and that of approaching sound. While considering the properties and language of drawing, these artists invoke the presence of sound and, like Marioni’s photograph, its relationship to drawing by becoming a mental sketch, an approximation, existing only in the imagination.

The exhibition features two commissioned new works. Conor Kelly, an artist and composer based in London, explores the accidental pictograms created by vibrations, waves, resonances and harmonics. Although consisting of films of musical string instruments on several monitors, the work is musically elusive, instead foregrounding the physical vibrations and aural textures of abstract resonant frequencies. Los Angeles artist Steve Roden uses the pages of an old ‘London A-Z’ guide as the basis for an outdoor sound installation. For these new works, the first 100 pages of the A-Z becomes a manual for 100 tunings on a sruti box, as well as a score for visual mark making; thus translating the original information into a series of visual and audio spaces for quiet wandering.

In the new drawing and sound work by American artist Beth Campbell, imaginary scenarios are transcribed into tree-like branches of decisions and their differing consequences, accompanied by multi-channel recordings of anecdotes simultaneously played back to form a cacophonous cluster of diverging life-stories. American artist Joseph Grigely’s written phrases on small pieces of paper and post-it-notes are replacements for sound and are born out of his attempts, as a deaf artist, at communicating and at being communicated with. His grid of coloured paper makes up fractured bits of conversations shared with others in everyday situations and removes sound from the act of listening.

The London-based sound artist Kaffe Matthews presents a symphony for radios and bicycles. Replacing notes written on a musical staff are drawings on a neighbourhood map: providing various itineraries for visitors to follow on bikes, the artist broadcasts an electronic composition over a live radio signal. Cycling around the streets with radios receiving the broadcast, participants become performers and passers-by become accidental audience members. Also working between drawing and performance is Robin Rhode, a South African artist based in Berlin who uses wall drawing to create props and contexts for live performances. For The Drawing Room, inspired by the provisional and sketch-like nature of the act of drawing, Rhode chooses not to perform but to rehearse. Executed prior to the exhibition’s opening, his wall drawing is the remains of an invisible performance, documented on Super-8 film, where the artist silently mimes and draws the gestures of a speaker or singer in front of a microphone. New York-based artist Terry Nauheim’s video work features a hand quietly drawing lines and shapes on her fogged-up car window, while the reflected telephone cables in the distant background serve as a removed musical staff, giving the artist’s abstract marks the semblance of a score written for three dimensions.

The interactive wall piece by German artist Carsten Nicolai asks viewers to draw in the blanks of an abstract visual score, forming an open-ended representation of the 0’s and 1’s of digital compositional choices.

Sounds Like Drawing considers the properties of drawing alongside those of sound, and the places where the two might meet, accentuate or erase, contradict or enrich each other.

This exhibition is curated by Anthony Huberman, Curator at SculptureCenter, New York.

Exhibition funded by The Henry Moore The Foyle Foundation Foundation

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Sounds like Drawing
Kurator: Anthony Huberman

mit Beth Campbell, Joseph Grigely, Conor Kelly, Kaffe Matthews, Tom Marioni, Terry Nauheim, Carsten Nicolai, Robin Rhode, Steve Roden