Sound Without Music
Sound Without Music
Sound Without Music is centered around the performance, presence and social potential of sound. Its title is less a statement than a question, examining the relationship between sound, art and music, and the way it has evolved in recent artistic practices that move between or beyond categories and in-between fiction, field recording, dialogue, soundscapes, silence and distortion. The space in-between becomes a political one, a space of overcoming boundaries and borders with and through sound.
Musical composition and visual arts have always been mutually inspiring, from Jean Tinguely's sound machines or Vassily Kandinsky's compositions to the influence of the Wagnerian Gesamtkunstwerk on installation art. Since the 20th century, and more notably since John Cage's 4'33'' in 1952, contemporary music itself has made a leap towards theatricality and performance. And while George Brecht notably questioned whether music has to encompass sound or not, sound became a constitutive element in the field of visual arts.
Recently there has been a growing interest in scores within the realm of contemporary art. Musical scores have been compared to 'concepts' that might or might not need interpretation or execution, or that in turn can be executed in a variety of ways. In 1966, Meyer Kupferman wrote Music Without Sound, an experiment based on a diagrammatic approach to the organisation of sound where music is meant to be read rather than listened to. This triggers the question of what then defines sound separately from music. Is it its defying chronology and temporality? Is it its presence; can you feel it?
Sound Without Music is a reflection on different roles and textures of sound in contemporary art, and the various ways sound can be carefully heard or deeply listened to. This project puts both emerging and established practices, collectives and synergies in the spotlight to show how listening to and producing sounds remain key rituals in contemporary society. Breaking the convention of an exhibition of things, the hybrid format between a permanent display of works and an ephemeral program will showcase the freedom of experimentation and the cross-contamination between disciplines.
From the beginning of September, the interdisciplinary program that precedes and accompanies the exhibition, will gradually unfold through concerts, performances, DJ-sets and screenings, between day and night, between colourful f(r)ictions and white noise.