"Soundings: A Contemporary Score" Show at The Museum of Modern Art in New York City is dedicated to SOUND ART.

Excerpt from Carol Vogel Inside Art/The New York Times/April 5, 2013

Barbara London, the museum associate curator in the media and performance art department, has spent the last few years listening to the work of sound artists and looking at related scores, drawings and installations. Her findings will be the subject of "Soundings: A Contemporary Score," the museum's first big show devoted exclusively to sound art.

"Sound has come into the limelight," Ms. London said. "It's getting recognized as a frontier." Technology is an obvious reason. "There are more tools that are easier and less expensive to use these days," she said. "And because of these tools there is more artistic freedom."

The show, running Aug. 10 to Nov. 3, 2013 will feature work by 16 artists, most of them little known to the public. They are young, ranging in age from the early 30s to the mid-40s, and international, coming from the United States, Uruguay, Norway, Denmark, Britain, Germany, Australia, Japan and Taiwan.

Sound will be explored in many guises. There will be environments where sound shapes space, and explorations into how sound affects a viewer's experience. There will also be recordings, including those from abandoned buildings in Chernobyl, flying bats and a food-processing factory in Taiwan.

The show will be visual, too. The artist Marco Fusinato, in Melbourne, Australia, has produced five abstract drawings based on an orchestral score by Iannis Xenakis, the Greek composer and theorist who died in 2001. On each page a straight line connects each note to a central spot, creating a focal point of weight and intensity. The multimedia artist Camille Norment removed the insides of an old-fashioned standing microphone and inserted a pulsating light, casting a shadow on the wall that suggests the rib cage of a now silent singer.

Another work about absence will be by the Scottish artist and Turner Prize winner Susan Philipsz. She has taken the score of a symphony composed for 24 instruments by Pavel Haas in 1943 while he was in a Nazi concentration camp, and reimagined it with just one cello and one viola playing their intermittent parts.

The show will go beyond the galleries, with visitors happening upon sounds throughout the museum. Bells will ring in the sculpture garden church bells, cat bells, bicycle bells, the opening bell of the New York Stock Exchange. Together they make up "A Bell for Every Minute," the piece by Stephen Vitiello that was performed on the High Line in 2010. A different bell will sound every minute, and on the hour all the bells will ring together.

Read more about it at
  • ART IN AMERICA Magazine/April 4, 2013


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