As stated by the famous modern artist Kurt Schwitters in 1926, art is nothing more than rhythm. This group exhibition, curated by AV Festival 10, presents six contemporary artist rooms, including three new commissions, on the theme of energy and sound. Sculptural objects are brought to life by electrical, mechanical and human energy, uniting technology with the forces of nature. Featuring Rhodri Davies, Alec Finlay, Felix Hess, Pe Lang, Liliane Lijn and Charlemagne Palestine.
Charlemagne Palestine’s debut UK installation beardemonium tintinnabulum features his signature motif of soft toy bears that absorb human energy and transmit it into the gallery like sponges or magnets. Commissioned by AV Festival 10.
Room Harp by Rhodri Davies is a series of new harp sculptures played by mechanical fans, turning the harps into musical wind machines. Commissioned by AV Festival 10.
sky-wheels is a new work by Alec Finlay, a field of sixteen model wind turbines featuring poems by the artist on their colourful kinetic blades. Commissioned by AV Festival 10.
It’s in the Air by artist and physicist Felix Hess is an installation of 500 floor-based small paper vanes that respond to subtle air flow in the room.
In Pe Lang’s series of thermocromatic paintings, A line determining the limits of an area, an input of thermal energy to the canvas alters its molecular structure and slowly changes its colour.
Liliane Lijn’s work represents the world as energy. Her installations made from copper wire create fluid moving lines of light and her drawings of wind turbines from 1970 predict a future of renewable energy.
Charlemagne Palestine is an American composer, performer, and visual artist. A contemporary of Philip Glass, Terry Riley, Phill Niblock, and Steve Reich, Palestine wrote intense, ritualistic music in the 1970s. A composer-performer originally trained to be a cantor he always performed his own works as soloist. His earliest works were compositions for carillon and electronic drones, and he is perhaps best known for his intensely performed piano works. He also performs as a vocalist, singing long tones with gradually shifting vowels and overtones while moving through the performance space.
Rhodri Davies was born in 1971 in Aberystwyth, Wales and now lives in Gateshead. He plays harp, electric harp, live-electronics and builds wind, water and fire harp installations. His regular groups include: a duo with John Butcher, The Sealed Knot, a trio with David Toop and Lee Patterson, Common Objects, Cranc, a trio with John Tilbury and Michael Duch, SLW and Apartment House. In 2008 he collaborated with the visual artist Gustav Metzger on Self-cancellation, a large-scale event in London and Glasgow. New pieces for harp have been composed for him by: Eliane Radigue, Christian Wolff, Ben Patterson, Alison Knowles, Michael Pisaro, Carole Finer, Mieko Shiomi, Radu Malfatti and Yasunao Tone.
Alec Finlay is a Scottish artist, poet and publisher, after working in Newcastle for ten years he is now based in Edinburgh. He has undertaken artist residencies at Yorkshire Sculpture Park and Narec, and commissions for Milton Keynes Gallery, Kielder Partnership and Bluecoat. His work has been exhibited at venues including: BALTIC, Gateshead; Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh; Yorkshire Sculpture Park; Turner Contemporary, Margate; Sainsbury Centre for Visual Art, Norwich; John Hansard Gallery, Southampton; Bickachsen 6, Bad Homburg; EAST, Norwich; Leeds City Art Gallery; and the Sydney Biennial.
Felix Hess is a Dutch physicist-turned-artist, known for his semi-autonomous sound devices and small audio machines. He has been active in this field for almost 20 years and has exhibited his work all over the world. His scientific research includes groundbreaking studies of aerodynamics and the movement of boomerangs (1975) and the communication of bullfrogs (1979). This lead to his installation work, making autonomous sound sculptures which are connected to nature. In 2003 he won the Witteveen + Bos Art + Technology Prize for his work. The jury described Hess as an artist who "reopens our senses and our distillate stand in wonder."
Pe Lang is a Swiss artist, who lives and works in Zurich and Berlin. He creates installations by assembling magnetic, electrical and mechanical devices into minimal kinetic sculptures and devices. His work has been exhibited and performed in several important museums, galleries and festivals, including Transmediale, Berlin; Elektra, Montreal; Sonic Acts XII, Amsterdam; Växjö Kunsthalle, Sweden; Dissonanze, Rome; bitforms gallery, New York; ISEA 2008, Singapore; and Netherlands Media Art Institute, Amsterdam. Selected awards and residencies include the Swiss Art Award (2009 and 2010).
Liliane Lijn moved from New York City to London in 1966. She studied archaeology at the Sorbonne and art history at the École du Louvre, Paris (1958). She became an artist in residence in a plastics factory, experimenting with fire and acids and working with light, poetry, movement and liquids between 1961 and 1963, rapidly establishing herself as a leading kinetic artist through many international exhibitions. She is recognised as an early pioneer of art and science, and in 2005 was awarded an Arts Council International Fellowship to become the first artist in Residence at the Space Sciences Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley. Her work is in the collections of The British Museum; Musée de la Ville de Paris; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Tate Gallery, London; Victoria and Albert Museum, London, amongst others.
Curated and produced by AV Festival 10, in partnership with Hatton Gallery. Supported by Arts Council England.
Preview: Fri 5 March 2010, 7-10pm
Fri 5 March – Sat 22 May 2010
Newcastle NE1 7RU
Mon – Sat 10am-5pm