Curated by David Crawforth
Sound… its presence emphasised by a visible absence, always there but not always heard, a constant underlayer of life.
Temple Bar Gallery and Studios presents forest (volume IV) the fourth in a series of annual exhibitions exploring the place and potential of sound in art. Over the previous three exhibitions Volume has showcased some of the most innovative developments in sound art taking place in and outside Ireland . This year’s exhibition is curated by London artist and curator David Crawforth. His concept is to create a metaphorical forest, an environment with tendrils of connectivity between individual works and live events. ‘The forest is filled with mimetic gestures. It is secondary and not fully formed…new growth in the form of performances, compositions and interventions will take place over the life span of forest, creating a layered and temporal habitat.’ The audience in entering the forest must do so with a willingness to explore and to reflect on the varied ‘forest’ sounds. They may even do so with a degree of trepidation and, for those who do ‘go down to the woods’ the unexpected may very well occur….
For the duration of the show, a diverse range of audio works will be installed in the gallery space, with some sculptural and visual interventions.
Beaconsfield Artworks set the scene by constructing a forest floor of mulch, leaves and twigs with substrata of cardboard. They define its perimeter with monotone paint layers, and its core with primeval electronic sound.
Leafcutter John uses microphone pick-ups under the forest floor that record movement above and relay this information to a software driven instrument that can record, process live and reintroduce sound as well as triggering more complex layers of composition. The sound is intended to grow as well as reflect what is happening in the forest over its limited lifespan.
Mark Dean dangles a carrot for the politically correct to pick at – a proposition - made through a reggae version of Crimson & Clover combined with Marcus Garvey’s red, black and green Pan-African flag - that we are all Africans irrespective of the colour of our skin.
Bruce Gilbert thrives in the realm of the unexpected. His objects are precise but not precious, minimal assemblages that reflect his attitude to get inside sound and push it to destruction.
Towards the end of the exhibition Bob & Roberta Smith will compose a text that will be painted at the entranceto the forest – this will appear near the end of the exhibitions run, and reflect human intervention in its most basic form – rights of ownership..
A number of live events will take place in the gallery space on the launch night of the 6th September, featuring performances by Bruce Gilbert, DJ Tendraw, Dublin improvisers Fergus Kelly (invented instruments), David Lacey (percussion/electronics), and Composer/performer Nina Hynes, who will be performing in response to the theme of the forest.
Live turntables and circuit bent noise will be produced by one of the UK’s most active circuit bent artists, DJ Tendraw. Expect electronic sound performances of re-routed children’s toys, magnetic hotel keys, feedback, casio keyboards, and an array of home made "jump loops", wallpaper textures & things that you’ve never seen before. Just like Ash and his friends in Sam Reimi’s classic cult-horror film The Evil Dead, DJ Tendraw will summon the evil spirits from the woods and then drive them back to hell with a barrage of circuit bent witchery and slapstick tomfoolery.
Bruce Gilbert will be performing an improvisation using analogue and digital sound-modifying devices. Parts of the performance will be dependent on the physical and acoustic qualities of the performing area. Be warned some of the sounds may be of an extreme or loud nature.
On the evening of Friday 14th September, as part of Dublin Culture Night, Bob & Roberta Smith and the Apathy Band invite anyone who can play a non-chordal instrument to join their improvised ensemble (Strictly no guitars).
Karl Him will be performing his recent sound work, Forest Project. This audio work is influenced by the unique charter of a particular place, in this case a forest. This performance will use sounds informed and influenced by these wooded places – manipulated field recordings along with Laptop, improvised electronics and instruments.
The final event, at the Sugar Club on Sunday 16th September, is a concert by legendary electronic duo, Pan sonic. Their music is a fusion of influences, merging the harsh and pure sounds of Industrial techno with the more subdued instrumental sound-scapes of reggae and dub. The end result is a powerful low frequency visceral emission, a montage made up of two counter cultures that forms a new electronic whole - precise, loud, minimal but warm and inspirational too.
All three of these live events marking the beginning, middle and end of the exhibition, are intended to activate the soul of the project, to celebrate the forests existence and to lament its demise.
forest, volume IV is curated by David Crawforth, visual artist, curator and director of Beaconsfield art space in London.
Beaconsfield Artworks (David Crawforth and Naomi Siderfin) have made critical interventions in institutional, public & private spaces since 1994. These performative, sonic and built structures are often political and carefully crafted but always infused with a sense of irony. Beaconsfield Artworks include RAF (1999), Hamburger Bahnhof Museum, Berlin, Earthshaker (2000), Stavanger Biennale, Norway & God Machine (2005), Chronic Epoch, London. Parallel to this activity they are the founding directors of the critically acclaimed Beaconsfield art-space in London
Leafcutter John is a musician who combines guitar and voice based writing with more experimental electronic sonic forms. His live shows often feature long passages of conversation between the band and audience and improvised songs are born based upon the audience’s suggestions. He also writes music software and makes interactive sound art installations. Leafcutter John recently performed at the Meltdown Festival in London and is about to embark on a tour of Australia
Mark Dean works with video installation and photography. He received his MA in Fine Art from Goldsmiths' College, London. Dean has exhibited at the Imperial War Museum, London, IKON Gallery, Birmingham, and his work has twice been featured in Artfutures, at the Bloomberg Space, London in 2005 and 2007.
Bruce Gilbert is a founding member of experimental post-punk band Wire. Gilbert has released six CDs of his own outside Wire, and has pursued a wider-ranging artistic practice embracing sound, installation and performance art.
Bob and Roberta Smith was born in 1963 in London, UK, where he lives and works. He makes art that is often confrontational, and sometimes political. Humorous musing on art, politics, popular culture, Britain and the world in general are the source for his slogan based work. He has exhibited widely with solo exhibitions at the Hayward Gallery, London, The Whitechapel Art Gallery, London and Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead. In 2002 Bob & Roberta smith presented The Art Amnesty at Perogi Gallery, in which he called for artists to stop making art and get a proper job. Bob and Roberta Smith also performs music and hosts a radio show called Make Your Own Damn Music, on Resonance FM, London.
DJ Tendraw has held residencies in Leeds, London and has toured the USA. He stopped DJing to study art and graduated from the Fine Art course at Goldsmiths in 1999. In late 1998 he began working with his collaborator, The Gypsies Dog. Having finely honed their craft on London’s arts scene over the last four years, the two create a stunning amalgam of break-core, bleep, noise, grinning and hardcore punk-style shouting; seemingly simultaneously unerringly tight and on the verge of collapse.
Karl Him is a multidisciplinary artist and musician who lives and works in Dublin. Most recently he has exhibited work at the Royal Hibernian Academy, Four Gallery, and The Model Arts and Niland Gallery in Sligo.
Nina Hynes makes music and art in many genres, has released three albums and collaborated with experimental artists such as Hector Zazou and Harold Budd. However, Hynes is mostly celebrated for her indie pop songs and music with her band The Husbands. She has taken part in a wide variety of art projects, exhibitions, performances and collaborations. What interests her most is the use of sound in response to an atmosphere, or to create an atmosphere.
Pan sonic (Mika Vainio, Ilpo Väisänen) make experimental electronic music, working with home made synthesizers and improvised sound systems. As well as performing live worldwide and releasing albums, they have also remixed tracks for the likes of Björk, 2K (KLF) and Riuchi Sakamoto. They are also both individually involved in their own solo projects. Pan sonic have produced sound installations for The Pompidou Centre and Cartier Foundation, Paris, The Hayward Gallery, London and The Walker Gallery, Minneapolis.
Preview: Thursday 6th September, 6pm - 8pm
Performances from: Bruce Gilbert, Fergus Kelly & David Lacey, Nina Hynes, DJ Tendraw.
Dublin Culture Night: Friday 14th September, open until 9.30
Performances from: Bob & Roberta Smith and the Apathy Band, Karl Him.
Pan sonic Live at the Sugar Club: Sunday 16th September, doors at 8pm, onstage from 9pm
Tickets from www.tickets.ie, City Discs Temple Bar, and Temple Bar Gallery & Studios
Gallery Opening hours: 11am – 6pm Tuesday –Saturday. Open until 7pm Thursday.
Exhibition continues until 16th September 2006