Continuing Christian Marclay’s long-standing interest in the relationship between image and sound, this exhibition is comprised of a series of new works on canvas and paper that feature onomatopoeia taken from comic books as well as a lively programme of weekly performances.
Unlike earlier sound mimesis in his paintings, Marclay’s new works focus solely on the wet sounds suggestive of the action of painting. Combining cartoon-strip imagery and the dripping, pouring and splashing noises associated with gestural abstraction, the works bridge a gap between movements as distinct as Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art. This is furthered by their methodology: a combination of painting overlaid with screen printing.
Another set of onomatopoeia arises for the first time in a large-scale, four-part video installation which involves a lexicon of sound effects made by characters in superhero stories. The scanned swatches have been animated into a dynamic choreography suggestive of the acoustic properties of each word, for example ‘Boom’ bursts into life in a sequence of colourful explosions, while ‘Whooosh!’ and ‘Zoooom!’ travel at high speed around the walls.
The aqueous motif of the paintings runs throughout the exhibition, surfacing in new works such as video installation entitled Pub Crawl (2014) whereby the artist coaxes sound from empty glasses, bottles and cans abandoned on the streets of East London, found during early morning weekend walks. In a series of projections that run the length of the gallery’s corridor, these discarded vessels are hit, rolled and crushed, forming a lively sound track that echoes throughout the space.
Meanwhile, a programme of weekend performances between London Sinfonietta and Marclay will take over a large section of the gallery for the duration of the exhibition; and the show will also feature The Vinyl Factory Press, a unique hydraulic vinyl pressing machine created by The Vinyl Factory, and screen printing equipment operated by the London printmakers Coriander Studio. Audiences will be able to witness on site the unique process of producing vinyl records, from the initial recording of the concerts to cutting and pressing the records and printing the sleeves.
Christian Marclay, 28 January – 18 April, White Cube Bermondsey, 144-152 Bermondsey Street, London, SE1 3TQ, United Kingdom.
For additional details, visit www.whitecube.com.
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1. Christian Marclay, Untitled (2004), Photogram on c-print paper, mounted on cintra board. Courtesy of White Cube.