(Lives) are composed like music. Guided by his sense of beauty, an individual transforms a fortuitous occurrence (Beethoven’s music, death under a train) into a motif, which then assumes a permanent place in the composition of the individual’s life.
– Unbearable Lightness of Being, Milan Kundera
Interplay showcases work in which musicality plays an important role and is translated into visual representation. In their two-dimensional and video works, these artists employ or imply some of the compositional approaches in contemporary music that spur our perception of synchronous events. Motifs such as landscapes, everyday objects and urban noises are exquisitely transformed into visual compositions.
David Kwan’s Terra Firma is a complex video installation deployed by an automated system that “composes” a continuously changing landscape derived from video footage. The footage is generated from four different video sources that project images of empty landscapes to create a single on-site landscape in the gallery. Kwan’s visual continuum of shifting permutations creates a sort of “non-place” suggestive of our own interior psychological space. For the viewer, these images can provoke a nostalgic memory of our archetypal landscape.
If one can see music in a static image, it would be in the work of Belgian-born Nora Pauwels. In her work, mathematical composition and pattern perform a rhythm of regulations and passion. Pauwels’ works on paper make use of energetic and continuously twirling lines to represent phases and cycles of activity, movement and repose that seem linked to both musical composition and the rhythm of everyday life.
Polish artist Bartosz Posacki presents a video animation work titled Continuum zmienno?ci obrazu (meaning the continuum of variable images). His hand-drawn animation depicts a city with its residents, factories, houses, churches, machines and pipes slowly fading in, passing through, creating noise, and then simply disappearing. These animated sequences suggest a rhythmic musicality that arises from the chaos of contemporary urban life.
Contemporary music composer Steve Reich created a series of prints titled 4 Freehand Watermark Tracing. In these works, he hand-traced the identifying watermarks of four different types of papers. In the 1960’s and 1970’s, Reich became internationally known for his use of repetition and the phase effect generated from slightly shifting patterns. These works have been generously loaned to the exhibition by Crown Point Press in San Francisco.
Please join us for a Gallery Talk with the Artists on Tuesday, April 29 at 7:00pm. This event is free and open to the public.
Exhibitions are free and open to the public.