Christian Marclay, White Cube, London

The solo exhibition of Christian Marclay at the White Cube consists of a combination of painting and screen printing, projection installations and performances (of which I unfortunately missed). Marclays interest lies within the relationship between image and sound and he executes comic-book style onomatopoeia to depict this, focusing on the sounds produced by painting associated with general abstraction, e.g. ‘plap’; ‘pwop’; ‘slosh’. The canvas paintings/prints were suggestive of pop art because of the typography Marclay had used to characterize the paintbrush movement.

The corridor of the White Cube was occupied by projections of Marclay using his feet to move objects found on streets, so that the sound created by the movement was recorded and heard together. The objects were generally of glass material which created a softening ambiance but also certified that the visual artworks were thought of considering the sounds they were portraying.

Marclays use of sound prompted me to contemplate how I would introduce sound into my work if I wished to accommodate for that sense aswell: an important consideration because of the emphasis on the conscious mind evidently having correlation to our use of the senses. Marclay, however, uses sound to attune to the relationship that he’s interested in, and the work I’m creating in the studio at the moment concentrates solely on the visionary of the sub-conscious mind – it made me scrutinize what I have been working on as to whether you hear the events of your dreams. Being a subjective phenomena makes it a difficult deliberation but subjectively to the artist, I do not hear my dreams as they are occurring (or not as I remember). Having said this, I often hear powerfully loud ‘clangs’ and ‘crashes’ in the state between wakefulness and sleep, that will wake me and startle me until I realize the noise was internal.

Inside the Christian Marclay exhibition at The White Cube

Because my current painting already contains the visual, appropriating Marclays onomatopoeia would probably be less effective than providing the sound literally. My final piece will embody the viewer and therefore I believe that including sound such as the sounds I experience would be further effective in altering the viewers consciousness during their time within the space.

Despite initially believing that the sound should be recreated via audio, viewing this exhibition efected the way in which I record my dreams: I now additionally make note of any significant sounds remembered during the initial stages of my sleep. Subsequently I originally found them difficult to record because the sound is not easily recreated in the space of my bedroom where the dreams are inevitably recorded, but much like Marclay, I can recreate them as words.

Deliberating the sounds in this way has put more focus on the actual recording done in order to recreate the dreams, and although that is momentous in my work, it detracts from my original interest of the expansion of the conscious mind. The audio should not be disregarded because of the symbol of the human senses, but it isn’t crucial in my intention.


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