Memory Landscape Audio Work at National Museum of Art Osaka


Laurie says:

This is the second post about  my work being exhibited on three continents in January and February . The first was “Staged” at the PH 21 Gallery in Budapest. The second is “ZEIGEN – An Audio Tour through the collection of the National Museum of Art Osaka,” as part of “Travelers: Stepping into the Unknown,” the NMAO’s 40th anniversary exhibition. (Jan 20-May 6, 2018)

In Osaka, I have an audio piece evoking my work in progress “Memory Landscapes:  A Feminist Memoir.” German artist and curator Karin Sander invited artists whose work was  part of the musuem’s permanent collection to describe their work for the Zeigen exhibition. Museum attendees listen through headphones while facing a blank wall. Sanders has done similar installations in  Berlin, San Francisco, Vienna.

I loved her concept of “a piece of acoustic information about your work or your working process. You may really think of any kind of sound, description, reading, music, or whatever can be listened to, an audio piece that would translate your work into sound and thus make it ‘visible’. Your audio piece must not necessarily relate to your work in the museum’s collection, but more importantly should reflect upon your work in general. The exhibition: The names of the participating artists, accompanied by a number, will be displayed on the white walls of one of the larger spaces within the museum. Visitors will each be given an audio guide… which they will use to listen to the audio files by entering the number next to each artist’s name.” 

I wanted to evoke the work rather then describe it. I used a mixture spoken work and poetry to create an audio work that would stand alone as art. Here is the audio piece I created.

This what people see on the wall when they hear my words. (Thanks to Hiroko Hagiwara for sending me the image after she saw the exhibit.)

I was already working on audio pieces in Memory Landscapes when she asked me, mostly my stories and poetry.

If you follow this link to “Shawl,” you’ll hear some of the pieces as part of the sequences of memory association. Like real memory, it is somewhat randomized, so a particular audio piece or image won’t come up every time.

Using audio as part of my art has been both interesting and exciting, since all the work I had done previously was visual. When Karin Sanders invited me, I was very glad that I had already added audio to Memory Landscapes, so that I had some experience and had put much thought in working with it. Creating the Osaka audio piece was challenging, enjoyable and conceptually very useful for my work.