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Modes of Translation 2017
Image courtesy of the artist
Relay League 2016
Commissioned by Artspace, Sydney
Courtesy the artist, Anna Schwartz Gallery, Melbourne and Galerie Allen, Paris
Colour-Music Music Composition 2006-2010
Enamel on MDF, Yamaha Electric piano (installation view)
Courtesy of the artist and Anna Schwartz Gallery, Melbourne
A musical score is a form of translation. It transcribes sound into drawing, by representing the aural complexities of pitch, rhythm and tempo as visual symbols.
The Score expands upon this spirit of transformation to ask, if music can be represented by notes on a staff, why not by colours? If a song can be performed by the voice, why not with silent hand gestures? And how would dance based upon the syllables of a poem, or music based upon the shape of a leaf manifest?
In this international group exhibition, scores and notation are considered as a starting point to explore the current cross-disciplinary trend in contemporary art, which has seen dance, music and vocal performance increasingly incorporated into visual artworks. The Score presents a range of contemporary and historical artworks that shift between one discipline to another. Musical notation becomes a visual metaphor for a moment of translation between forms – the point where creative leaps and conceptual shifts spark new possibilities.
Spanning all three floors of the Potter, the exhibition will include examples of music and dance notation, from Medieval manuscripts through to graphic notation of the 1960s, alongside artworks and performances. The colour music experiments of Modernist abstract painters such as Roy de Maistre and Ludwig Hirschfeld-Mack will inform a more recent series of work John Nixon, whose paintings will be ‘played’ in the gallery by a musical ensemble. Influential composer John Cage’s movable scores made of Plexiglas and acetate will sit alongside drawings by Marco Fusinato, which compress Cage’s Water Music score into one moment. Performance videos by Yuki Kihara and Christine Sun Kim & Thomas Mader explore the communicative potential of hand gestures. Sriwhana Spong translates a diary text by ballet dancer Vaslav Nijinsky into choreography, while Nathan Gray transforms the composer Cornelius Cardew’s epic graphic score Treatise into sculpture.
A performance program will accompany the exhibition, including a presentation of US artist Charles Gaines’ chamber opera Sound Text, a vocal and music score derived from political manifestoes; and Michaela Gleave’s Galaxy of Suns, a 36-part choir performance based upon the location of the stars.
Artists and performers include: Pia Borg, John Cage, Roy de Maistre, Fayen d’Evie, Marco Fusinato, Charles Gaines, Kurltjunyintja Jackie Giles, Michaela Gleave, Agatha Gothe-Snape, Nathan Gray, Helen Grogan, Ludwig Hirschfeld-Mack, Emily Kam Kngwarray, Yuki Kihara, Shelley Lasica, Sonia Leber & David Chesworth, Dylan Martorell, Angelica Mesiti, John Nixon, Sandra Parker, Rammey Ramsey, Mia Salsjö, Charlie Sofo, Sriwhana Spong, Christine Sun Kim & Thomas Mader, Danae Valenza.
Presented in association with Melbourne Festival
This exhibition has been generously supported by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body; Naomi Milgrom, AO; and the Consulate General of the United States, Melbourne.