Curated by Dennis McNulty
I think I remember is the fifth in a series of exhibitions at Temple Bar Gallery & Studios entitled Volume. Over the past five years, Volume has aimed to explore sound as a medium and subject in contemporary art, and has showcased innovative sound work by artists and curators based in and outside of Ireland. I think I remember is curated by Dennis McNulty, and features seven artists who often work with sound, but who might not necessarily consider themselves sound-artists. For these artists, sound is just one material, but one that is particularly important as a conduit for exploring ideas.
Sound is movement – movement in time – movement in space. How to capture it? Describe it? Remember it? Record it? Reflection, refraction, diffraction, absorption. Technologies have been developed to record sound but with technology comes debate about accuracy – fidelity – truthful representation. All devices that record images produce a point of view. The placement of the microphone defines the point of audition – background, foreground – sound communicates a sense of space and distance. And if the recording is revealed as accurate in some abstracted parameterised universe, in the end, our experience is never exactly the same. We can listen to the same recording on different days and hear it differently each time, because we have changed.
Karl Burke's sculptures, created in consultation with an acoustics expert, occupy the gallery space and attempt to alter its acoustic properties. Angela Detanico and Rafael Lain's search for a recording of the silence that accompanies a solar eclipse led them to the silences in Michaelangelo Antonioni's film L'Eclisse. Their work, Il Silencio dell'eclisse combines a sound piece and a notation of the process of erasure they have applied to the film's soundtrack to produce it - deleting all music and dialogue to leave fragments of recorded 'silence'. image text sound, a group composed of David Donohoe, Peter Maybury and Marie-Pierre Richard, also worked with a cinematic text to generate As much about forgetting as remembering, a silent film paradoxically full of sound. Kathy Slade's series of canvasses, entitled Chart, creates a web of contradictions by smearing pop on the modernist grid. Each canvas is embroidered with a diagram of a guitar chord notated in tablature, a form of musical notation that doesn't make sense without an original recording and a desire to emulate it.
At the centre of I think I remember is a space, an absence. Sounds are translated or interpreted or deleted or remembered, but always considered in relation to a listener. The artists struggle with memory or search in vain for a kind of perfect silence. The sound keeps on moving.