The Infinite mix: sound and image in contemporary video, a new collaboration with Hayward Gallery. Most of the artists have composed, commissioned or remixed soundtracks that convey the visual element of their work in surprising ways, and ensure that what you hear is just as important as what you see.
Audiences will journey through a series of spaces above and below ground, discovering hologram-like installations, multi-screen installations and cinema-style 3-D projections, each of which are conceptually as well as emotionally immersive.
It begins with a short, single-channel video projection created in 2013 by British artist Martin Creed. A range of individuals cross a New York street, accompanied by a jubilant pop song. Talking about the film Creed has commented that ‘doing things in life, living and working, is always using your body’ and ‘life can look like a dance.’ It represents our own struggling, as we negotiate the slings and arrows that life sends our way.
In the holographic illusion OPERA (QM.15) Dominique Gonzales-Foerster appears in the guise of legendary soprano Maria Callas. Dressed in the singer’s signature red dress and dramatic makeup, the artist lip-syncs to arias from Cherubini’s Medea, Verdi’s La Traviata and Ponchielli’s La Gioconda. Situated at the end of a derelict corridor, and encountered from a distance of 30 metres, the luminous figure is at first startlingly life-like — an impression reinforced by the strength of Callas’s voice. Gonzalez-Foerster makes a truly haunting impression, drifting between presence and absence, the past and the future. This work is quite spooky as this haunting character of a figure from the past seeming to come alive again for a moment which i find to be really interesting and also compelling.
Ugo Rondinone’s immersive video installation features legendary beat poet John Giorno performing ‘THANX 4 NOTHING.’ In this poem written on his 70th birthday, Giorno looks back at his life, and the people and events that shaped it with humour and compassion. We see Giorno in a tuxedo and bare feet on an empty stage in the Palais des Glaces theatre in Paris. Four large screens surround us, with monitors set on the floor like stage footlights, giving different views, long shots and profiles of Giorno in a performance of a long autobiographical work in which he thanks all his past lovers and friends for good and bad times, their intimacies and betrayal. I really enjoyed how we as an audience got to see the different views from all the monitors that surround us.
Overall I really enjoyed this exhibition as we see a range of different formats from 3D videos to holographic illusions and multi-screen installations, these works present images that have an almost physical character or that alter our experience. Together, the works in this exhibition ambitiously expand the ways in which we experience moving images and sound, and open up new veins of meaning in art’s potentially ‘infinite mix.’