Dunedin Public Art Gallery announces Sound Full. Sound in Contemporary Australian and New Zealand Art

The Dunedin Public Art Gallery presents Sound Full. Sound in Contemporary Australian and New Zealand Art, an exhibition on view 7 July–11 November, 2012.

This major exhibition, drawing together sixteen artists working in Australia and New Zealand, seeks to extend and reframe art with the understanding that all art is already ‘sound full.’ Sound Full is intent on listening to art in its totality; it does not seek a specific type of art but rather acknowledges the sound already present in contemporary art.


Brent Grayburn, Flicker (video still), 2007. 4 x HD video projection installation. Image courtesy of the artist.

Every work of art, regardless of type or media, engages its audiences in a multimodal sense experience. This might be straightforward when one is engaged in a video art work but it is not so obvious when standing in front of a painting. This is made explicit in Marco Fusinato’s reproduction of Double Infinitive 2 (2009). The work does not have an audio element but it is full of noise. In the found newspaper photograph of a riot there is a real sense of the noise created during the event; fires burn, cars are upturned; rioters shout, and bricks are thrown. The image cannot be comprehended without imagining the sounds this scene would create. In addition to this noise there is also visual noise created by magnifying the newspaper images. The dots that make up the images are greatly enlarged and create a very low resolution and noisy image. When blown up to the scale of the Dunedin Public Art Gallery’s Big Wall (7 x 23 metres) the noise of this image will be deafening.

In Brent Grayburn’s installation Flicker (2007), four projections and surround sound are utilised to produce a fractured narrative. Dense sub-frequencies play out alongside a dark and mysterious landscape. Just as the viewer is immersed in Grayburn’s dark vision, the audience of Thembi Soddell’s work Window (2008) is literally couched in darkness. Her sound box requires the viewer to crawl into a box where they find themselves in a complete blackout situation surrounded by audio. The sound work is cinematic and through its lack of visuality produces a heightened sense of the visual imaginary.

Through a diverse series of audio outcomes, the artists in Sound Full produce contemporary art in which sound is a material component of their practice. By broadening our understanding of the role of sound in art we are able to hear beyond sound being conceptualized as separate or divorced from vision, and begin to re-conceptualize the modernist logic of visual art.

The opening weekend of Sound Full, 7–8 July, will also include performances by all the artists represented in the exhibition. This is a unique scenario in the New Zealand visual arts calendar, as all the participants will be present during the installation and realization of both the exhibition and performance programme.

Sound Full is the inaugural exhibition of the Visiting Scholar Programme at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery. With funding from Creative New Zealand, this Programme will initiate, develop and present two new media based exhibitions at the Gallery in collaboration with internationally recognized academics in 2012 and 2013.

Caleb Kelly is a New Zealand born writer, curator and producer in the fields of experimental music, sound arts and performance. A lecturer at Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney, he is the author of the highly acclaimed Cracked Media: The Sound of Malfunction (2009), and editor of Sound: Documents of Contemporary Art (2011).

Artists: Vicky Browne; Philip Dadson; Robin Fox; Marco Fusinato; Michael Graeve; Brent Grayburn; David Haines; Eugene Hansen, Jenny Gilliam and Dr Kron; Joyce Hinterding; Michael Morley; Kusum Normoyle; Thembi Soddell; Torben Tilly and Robin Watkins

Curated by Caleb Kelly and Aaron Kreisler.

Dunedin Public Art Gallery
30 the Octagon
Dunedin 9011, New Zealand
T +64 3 474 3240
[email protected]
www.dunedin.art.museum

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