Inspired by extracts of literacy, poetry and music, Cerith Wyn Evans (b. 1958) uses light as a translation for linguistic communication. The Welsh-speaking artist manipulates quotations through a range of media, decontextualising language in an approach that presents quotes as found objects. The imaginative works transcend the traditional functions of both language and object, instead immersing the viewer in an environment which challenges both time and perception.
As if, Seeing in the Manner of Listening…Hearing, as if Looking comprises a body of site-specific works presented throughout Marian Goodman Gallery, Paris, that stimulate all senses in an experience that provokes synaesthesia. Appropriating various forms of dialogue and challenging notions of the visible and the invisible, the installations create a meditative space that is simultaneously stimulating and trance-like.
The chandelier has been a recurring tool, and is again seen in the featured S=U=T=R=A, in which two, majestic fixtures are suspended in the ground-floor space of the gallery. Crafted from Murano glass, the emitted glow is a direct translation of a piano score composed and played by Evans. Controlled through a computer programme, the rhythm of each light reacts to its own composition, interacting in a silent conversation of illuminated messages. For three hours a day, the two fittings exchange in unison, mimicking each other in a pattern which discards notions of separation or contention.
Composition in Panes (on Reflection) incorporates 15 floating glass panels which are interrupted by luminescent sentences of neon. Reflected against the geometric forms, the text is distorted, making the quotation illegible and palpably illustrating the frustration of lost translation. The piece is accompanied by a soundtrack which emanates from the panels, furthering a sense of uncertainty and alienation.
Set within a vaulted, brick chamber Composition for Flutes combines 11 crystal flutes with a breathing unit and valve system which together form a transparent aerial. The instrument is again controlled by a computer system, operating independently within the confined space. Suggestive of respiration as well as music, the structure becomes disorientating through its apparent detachment from the human form.
As if, Seeing in the Manner of Listening…Hearing, as if Looking runs until 28 July at the Marian Goodman Gallery, Paris. Find out more: www.mariangoodman.com
1. Composition in Panes (on Reflection), 2017. 15 low-iron glass panels mounted on a stainless steel frame; 15 audio transducers; fixings; six-channel audio player. Panels: 44 1/8 x 30 5/8 x 1/8 in. (112 x 78 x 0.5 cm) (each), suspended 39 ¼ in (100 cm) from ground; overall dimensions variable. Photo Credit: Rebecca Fanuele. Courtesy of the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery
2. I=N=T=E=R=V=A=L=S (Duet on Reflection), 2017. Neon lights mounted on steel frame; fixings. Maximum letter height: 6 in (15.5 cm); total frieze length: 108.27 ft. (33.29 m); overall dimensions variable. Photo Credit: Rebecca Fanuele. Courtesy of the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery.