Nau mai, haere mai, welcome to EyeContact. You are invited to respond to reviews and contribute to discussion by registering to participate.

JH

Richard Francis Sound Work

AA
View Discussion
Richard Francis, Rough Music, as installed at Te Tuhi's entrance. Photo: Sam Hartnett.

In clement weather it was quite pleasant to move around between the four speakers - asymmetrically positioned to make you approach from unorthodox angles - to explore what each grey box emitted. There were no migraine-inducing scraping, scrunching, crushing, or grinding noises, only (still) industrial hums that didn't throb or screech, only gently meander, flutter, whistle and whir.

Pakuranga

 

Richard Francis
Rough Music

 

23 May - 12 July 2015

Rough music’ - Richard Francis‘ title - apparently is the term for driving somebody deemed ‘undesirable’ out of a village by getting a crowd to surround the cottage and cacophonously beat pots and pans - raucously carrying on until the ‘offender’ leaves. It’s a form of unsubtle but sonically effective, social excommunication.

Seeing this work was installed (via speakers in the sheltering iron roof) over the path that leads to the gallery entrance, it was a pretty droll concept. You drive people into the building, not out of it. The funny thing is that there was a logic. My memories of at least three Francis shows is that his aural textures used to be a lot more confrontational, more aurally abrasive, especially with his use of static-type textures. Assuming my recollection is accurate, this more recent work was more generally user-friendly - vaguely like a synthesis of Eno and Stockhausen; lots of layered rumbling drones and whines of different pitches that caused you to test out different sections of the path.

In clement weather it was quite pleasant to move around between the four speakers - asymmetrically positioned to make you approach from unorthodox angles - to explore what each grey box emitted. There were no migraine-inducing scraping, scrunching, crushing, or grinding noises, only (still) industrial hums that didn’t throb or screech, only gently meander, flutter and whirr.

You had to take time to listen to the layered combinations, to carefully determine the characteristics of each intermittently sounding source. The silences were unpredictable, and aspects of this show were similar to the work Ryoji Ikeda had in the silos on the waterfront over the 2013 Triennial. The listener’s bodily position affected their aural sensations and the specific pitch qualities, even though the omnipresent Reeves Road traffic noise made it difficult to analyse.

Francis‘ lack of consternation over local ambient noise gave him affinities with sonic legend, the late Max Neuhaus, who deliberately positioned sound installations in the heart of busy cities, seeking (amongst pedestrians) a sophisticated audience with keen ears that could detect his unusual frequencies - often encountered at crowded intersections. Something similar was occurring here at the Te Tuhi entrance.

John Hurrell

Print | Facebook | Twitter | Email

 

Recent Posts by John Hurrell

JH
Nicola Jackson's The Bloggs, as installed at Centre for Contemporary Art Toi Moroki. Photo by Rachel King

Nicola Jackson Installation at CoCA

CENTRE OF CONTEMPORARY ART TOI MOROKI

Christchurch

 

Nicola Jackson
The Bloggs

 

22 August - 18 November 2018

JH
Through the window: Olyvia Hong: Breeding Negotiations --Once you've done a bit of winning, the bug has bitten, 2018, screen print on polyvinyl acetate; Play with control, 2018, plastic and ceramic dog figures. Photo: Sam Hartnett

New Talent at Artspace

ARTSPACE

Auckland

 

Tyson Campbell, Wai Ching Chan, Faamele Etuale, Olyvia Hong, Bronte Perry
The River Remains; ake tonu atu

 

15 September - 20 October 2018

JH
Installation view of Steve Carr: Chasing the Light 2018. 6-channel video installation. Commissioned by Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū. Steve Carr is represented by Michael Lett, Auckland, and STATION, Melbourne

Steve Carr as Trickster

CHRISTCHURCH ART GALLERY TE PUNA O WAIWHETU

Christchurch

 

Steve Carr
Chasing The Light

 

8 September 2018 - 10 February 2019

JH
John Stezaker, Blind (Film Portrait Collage) VIII, 2017, collage, 25.3 x 20.3 cm, courtesy of The Approach

Stezaker in Auckland

STARKWHITE

Auckland

 

John Stezaker
John Stezaker: Collages

 

9 October - 3 November 2018