December 21st, 2012

Sergei Tcherepnin at Karma International

Artist: Sergei Tcherepnin

Venue: Karma International, Zurich

Date: November 17– December 22, 2012

Click here to view slideshow

Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.


Images courtesy of Karma International, Zurich. Photos by Gunnar Meier. 

Press Release:

By entering the space, you are surrounded by the tone.

By entering it on another level at the same time you become the tone.

Leading Tone Follies are three chairs and a box that perform themselves with trickery and sandman-ship. Slipping to something else.

A box is hung on the wall at what is supposed to be the average height of a woman’s head. It is a wooden box, lined with zinc from the inside, stuffed with sound isolation foam, and wrapped with heavy fabric. Between the two layers there is a transducer, transforming the zinc into a stereo speaker. The front wall of the box is covered with a hologram from Japan – a decoy with its duplicity of depth and surface. There. From the box sounds an alarm. If you enter your head into the alarm, your ears will emanate response tones. These tones are specially tuned as pedal tones. These pedal tones function as leading tones, resolving to the chair tones. The chair tones are never quite resolved, however, as they are always moving away…

Three chairs work as furniture in a specifically designated way. Each of them has a transducer mounted underneath the seat, transforming each into a subwoofer. They are covered with heavy fabric which is normally used for acoustic isolation. This softens the sound and covers it, giving it a characteristic texture. It is the restraining power of the sound as well as the expressive one.

In Leading Tone Follies, each tone or tonal sequence begins as a test tone leading tone, but they become something alive and breathing when they inhabit the chairs and the box, and even more so in this particular choreography at the gallery when the three chairs interact with each other, with the box, and with the visitors.

Two more experiences that converse with Leading Tone Follies

There is a bed, we call it the massage bed. It is made of wood and covered with fabric. It has a wooden pillow. A transducer is mounted underneath the wooden board, directly in the center. The gallerists take appointments for individual Massage Performances. Through the pine, through you, they will play sound from the sun. The massage table indicates the ultimate passive experience – you give yourself up to the masseuse. As a scenario for a musical performance, this passivity might be inverted to something more like an ultra-intense highly active listening experience.

There are two wall-photo pieces which were made in collaboration with the performance artist Ei Arakawa. The works consist of metal panels imprinted with images which are related to the theme of “listening” or “conversation.” Those image comes from the New York Public Image Library. The panels are mounted on heavy fabric. Each wall-photo plays past sound from the archive of the artists’ past performances. The wall-photos reactivate these stale recordings, bringing them into the present with materiality of the metal and movements of the listeners.

Link: Sergei Tcherepnin at Karma International

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