Featuring work by Nina Canell, Torsten Lauschmann, Guy Sherwin and Richard Sides, Sound Spill investigates the curatorial problem of sound in the context of the group exhibition. Curators rarely address the issue of ‘sound spill’ beyond the simple practicalities, aiming to minimize noise interference between artworks in an attempt to enable an audience to view works individually. The exhibition approaches the artworks and the sound produced by them on a formal level, with their arrangement in the space as a response to their acoustic presence. The sound produced by each work becomes part of a larger, single acoustic composition.
The artworks all feature sound as an element that is intrinsic to their conception but which isn’t their main focus. The artists in the exhibition all share a preoccupation with the production and performance of music, which is reflected in the orchestration of the space.
The Designers Republic were invited to design a title to frame the exhibition based on the phrase “sound spill”. Using ideas similar to those used in their renowned record sleeve design they have produced a typographical abstraction in response to the words. The Designers Republic have been instrumental in the visual representation of experimental music since the early 90s, creating iconic artwork for Warp Records and bands such as Pop Will Eat Itself, Autechre and Aphex Twin.
Canell’s video installation We Lost Wind depicts a saxophone player deep in a Swedish forest. The lone musician, wrapped-up against the winter cold has his saxophone buried – almost surgically grafted – into the cavity of a dead, hollow tree. The occasional blasts of the instrument, which irregularly puncture the otherwise peaceful ambient near-silence of the work, use the hollow tree as a resonator to broadcast the naturally amplified plaintive sound throughout the forest.
Lauschmann is interested in the tension between logic and emotional life and in representing a truthfulness that can be created through any material, form, media or situation. He has a longstanding engagement with sound and music, exploring the mechanics of a diverse range of media and technologies, often using musical instruments and archive video footage in his work.
Sides works with a core of specific values or possibilities from which physical processes are generated, processes often concerned with an object’s relationship to its acoustic environment. His exploration is rooted in mathematics, aesthetics and structural identity and often produces audible objects.
Sherwin has been working with film for over three decades and has extensively investigated the unique qualities of analogue film as a medium, focussing on the relationship between sound, image and film in live performance. His influential experiments into film and sound provide a grounding for the ideas underpinning this exhibition and the processes and methodologies employed by the artists in the show.
Sound Spill was selected from proposals received from S1 Members and Associates as part of the annual open submission.
Nina Canell was born in Sweden and lives and works in Dublin and New York. She studied Fine Art at the Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Dun Laoghaire and has exhibited in Manifesta 7, Trentino-South Tyrol, Italy and Nought to Sixty at the ICA, London. She is represented by Mother’s Tankstation, Dublin.
Torsten Lauschmann was born in Germany and lives and works Glasgow. He studied Fine Art at Glasgow School or Art and exhibited most recently in solo exhibitions at Arnolfini, Bristol, GoMA, Glasgow and in Nought to Sixty at the ICA, London. He is represented by Mary Mary Gallery, Glasgow.
Guy Sherwin lives and works in London. He studied painting at Chelsea School of Art in the late 1960s and taught printing and processing at the London Film-Maker’s Co-op during the mid-70s. His films have been shown at the Hayward Gallery, Tate Modern and Tate Britain.
Richard Sides lives and works in Sheffield. He studied Fine Art at Sheffield Hallam University. He exhibited recently in a solo exhibition at Bloc Space, Sheffield in Contested Ground at 176 Gallery, London and a partially joyless carrousel of quantics at Supplement Gallery, London.
Haroon Mirza is an artist who lives and works in Sheffield. He studied MA Design at Goldsmiths College and MA Fine Art at Chelsea College of Art & Design and has exhibited widely. Recent exhibitions include Lisson Presents 3, Lisson Gallery, London, More Pricks than Kick, Generator Projects, Dundee and New Contemporaries 2009.
Thom O’Nions is an artist and curator currently studying an MA in Curating at Goldsmiths College, London. He is also Co-Director of Supplement Gallery, London where he has curated a series of solo exhibitions with emerging artists.