The exhibition explores video art and its relationship with sound. This results in an eclectic mix from the strikingly beautiful to the mundane subject, elevated through the pairing with music or sound.
Music is an accessible way into this video art world, with the first piece, Martin Creed’s Work No. 1701, the closest piece to a 3 minute music video. That short, catchy song is contrasted by the endless jam of Stan Douglas’s Luanda-Kinshasa. The six hour piece constructs the recording session of a 70s jazz-funk band, looping forever around the many members of the band.
m.A.A.d extends and elevates the music video further. Kahil Joseph was given unique access to Kendrick Lamar’s good kid, m.A.A.d city to remix it for this piece. He responds to the album, creating a portrait of the people and streets of Compton, including home video from Lamar’s childhood.
Inventive use of multiple screens adds to the immersive experience. In THANX 4 NOTHING the poet John Giorno surrounds you from all angles, performing his poem while appearing to switch between black and white settings. Kahil Joseph’s m.A.A.d uses two angled screens to play footage against each other, at times contrasting, at others using symmetry beautifully to give the feeling of travelling through the neighbourhood.
Bom Bom’s Dream, a collaboration between Cecilia Bengolea and Jeremy Deller, is a surreal explosion of dancehall culture. Mixing footage with lo-fi special effects creates a bizarre vision of dancehall culture. Bom Bom dances from the brightly coloured, iguana dream back to earth in a dusty car park.
Finishing the exhibition in the car park with our 3D glasses on is Cyrpien Galliard’s Nightlife. The constant loop of the sampled dub soundtrack seems to move between foreground and distance, the repetition creating a hypnotic state. The film shows us epic urban landscapes, eerily abandoned stadiums and dancing trees, finishing with stunning shots of a firework display from above. The looping music throughout builds with the empty, repetitive shots to create beautiful and surreal results to finish the exhibition on.
It’s a really beautiful exhibition, needing a few hours to walk around this sprawling building and take in the diverse work on offer.