Soundings: A Contemporary Score
August 10–November 3, 2013
Special Exhibitions Gallery, third floor
This exhibition is accompanied by a film series.
MoMA's first major exhibition of sound art presents work by 16 of the most innovative contemporary artists working with sound. While these artists approach sound from a variety of disciplinary angles—the visual arts, architecture, performance, computer programming, and music—they share an interest in working with, rather than against or independent of, material realities and environments. These artistic responses range from architectural interventions, to visualizations of otherwise inaudible sound, to an exploration of how sound ricochets within a gallery, to a range of field recordings—including echolocating bats, abandoned buildings in Chernobyl, 59 bells in New York City, and a sugar factory in Taiwan.
The diversity of these works reflects a complex and nuanced field. Yet the exhibition posits something specific: that how we listen determines what we hear. Indeed, the works provoke and evoke—both in the maker and the museumgoer—modes of active listening, and a heightened relationship between interior and exterior space. At a time when personal listening devices and tailored playlists have become ubiquitous, shared aural spaces are increasingly rare. Many of the artists in the exhibition aim for such realities, and the sound they create is decidedly social, immersing visitors and connecting them in space. In many of the works, links are drawn between disparate topographies and subjects, giving rise to new understanding and experiences.
The artists in the exhibition are Luke Fowler (Scottish, b. 1978), Toshiya Tsunoda (Japanese, b. 1964), Marco Fusinato (Australian, b. 1964), Richard Garet (Uruguayan, b. 1972), Florian Hecker (German, b. 1975), Christine Sun Kim (American, b. 1980), Jacob Kirkegaard (Danish, b. 1975), Haroon Mirza (British, b. 1977), Carsten Nicolai (German, b. 1965), Camille Norment (American, b. 1970), Tristan Perich (American, b. 1982), Susan Philipsz (Scottish, b. 1965), Sergei Tcherepnin (American, b. 1981), Hong-Kai Wang (Taiwanese, b. 1971), Jana Winderen (Norwegian, b. 1965), and Stephen Vitiello (American, b. 1964).
Organized by Barbara London, Associate Curator, with Leora Morinis, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Media and Performance Art.
The exhibition is made possible by MoMA’s Wallis Annenberg Fund for Innovation in Contemporary Art through the Annenberg Foundation.
Major support is provided by Jerry I. Speyer and Katherine G. Farley, The International Council of The Museum of Modern Art, The Junior Associates of The Museum of Modern Art, Office for Contemporary Art Norway (OCA), Richard J. Massey Foundation for Arts and Sciences, and the Danish Arts Council Committee for International Visual Arts.
Additional funding is provided by the MoMA Annual Exhibition Fund.
In order to serve visitors with hearing loss, this exhibition includes induction hearing loops for sound amplification. Visitors to the installation can turn their hearing aid or cochlear implant to T-Coil mode to hear enhanced sound effortlessly. In addition, all MoMA theaters, lobby desks, ticketing desks, audioguide desks, and one of The Edward John Noble Education Center's classrooms are also equipped with hearing loops that transmit directly to hearing aids with T-Coils.
MoMA Studio: Sound in Space
Held in conjunction with the exhibition, MoMA Studio: Sound in Space is an interactive space open to all ages that explores sound as a material and as a spatial, sensory, immersive experience. Visitors are not just viewers but listeners who activate their experience through awareness of the interplay between environment and sound. The Studio offers drop-in activities and workshops, talks with collaborating artists, and a range of interactive artists’ projects that explore how the innovations of technology and the re-envisioning of our own physical ability to make sound change the way we communicate and find creative expression. Participating artists include Joe McKay, Angel Nevarez and Valerie Tevere, Carmen Papalia, Scott Snibbe, and Christine Sun Kim.