gallery has invited
into its rooms, and he has done what he does best: combined
images, objects, and sounds into beguiling and beautiful arrangements that
evoke a mix of anxiety, disorientation, and awe. In collaboration with the
gallery, and incorporating work by American audio artist Gregory Whitehead,
Basque noise artist Mattin, and British spiritual medium Jack Sutton, Smoleński
,” an exhibition inspired by
the concept of the “split” music album, whose sides are divided between two or
more individual musicians.
the “split” takes the form of pairings of Smoleński’s work with that of
Whitehead, Mattin, and Sutton. In one room, for example, a haunting
installation titled Fly (2000) confronts visitors. It is composed of
five microphone stands topped by cow skulls, their eye sockets fitted out with
speakers. A naked light bulb hangs down from the ceiling in the middle of this
strange circle, illuminating the macabre site. A familiar droning buzz issues
from the speakers: the sound of a fly, that companion of the cow, both in life
and death. The artist has paired this work with a sound piece by Mattin. Called
Tinnitus, in reference to the hearing damage that causes ringing or
buzzing in the ears, it features intentionally irritating sounds coming from a
speaker set on a simple wooden pedestal. Taken together, these two works create
a kind of concert of aural disturbance, at once distracting and mesmerizing.
is accompanied by a new publication by sociologist and music critic Michel
Libera. It comes with a cassette tape filled with sounds from Smoleński’s works
on one side, and audio pieces selected by Libera on the other—so viewers can
bring a piece of this evocative exhibition home.
Following the exhibition, West presents the world premiere of Smoleński’s monumental, architectural sound work One Mind In a Million Heads, the centerpiece of Volkspaleis
, which takes place through November 16th at The Hague’s Zuiderstrandtheater in Scheveningen. A giant tunnel installation utilizing speakers and projectors, the work was created in collaboration with choreographer Noa Shadur and curator Michael Libera. Smoleński’s largest installation of this kind to date, Mind In a Million Heads
explores how sound influences the public. Over five weekends international sound artists are welcomed to perform and by the close of the exhibition the sound will have evolved to almost silence.