Sound of Music explored the links between art, sound and music.
Featuring 30 works in a variety of media, artists included John Cage, Turner Prize winner Jeremy Deller, Turner Prize nominee Angela Bulloch and Pierre Huyghe, all selected from the collection of the FRAC Nord-Pas de Calais in Dunkirk. Our Project Space was the the only UK venue to host this exciting multi-media exhibition.
Art & Language / Robert Barry / Johanna Billing / Black Noise /Manon de Boer /George Brecht / Angela Bulloch /John Cage / Ellen Cantor & John Cussans / Francois Curlet & Michel Francois / Jeremy Deller / Cerith Wyn Evans / Ryan Gander / Babak Ghazi / Pierre Huyghe / Scott King / Vera & Francois Molnar / Laurent Montaron / Dennis Oppenheim / Allen Ruppersberg / Meredyth Sparks / Jan Vercruysse / La Monte Young & Marian Zazeela
The exhibition included the experiments in sound and composition of key figures such as La Monte Young and John Cage who introduced the idea of chance into musical composition. Language and text came together in Allen Ruppersberg's The Singing Posters (2003-05) an installation of poetry excerpts and advertisements printed onto brightly-coloured billboards.
Sculptural works by George Brecht, Angela Bulloch and Pierre Huyghe encouraged active participation. Visitors were invited to play the 200 chimes suspended that made up Huyghe's work which was based on a musical score written by John Cage.
Aspects of popular culture were explored in Turner Prize winner Jeremy Deller's blackboard drawing History of the World (1996) and Ellen Cantor and John Cussan's documentary-style video Whitby Weekender Dance Lesson (2006).
Other artworks in the exhibition shared an interest in myth-making, fan culture and the mechanics of the star system such as Scott King's series of prints in which historic moments in the mythologies of rock bands were reduced to pure graphics.
Johanna Billing's video installation Magical World (2005) was the result of a collaboration between the artist and a group of children at an after-school music club in Dubrava, Croatia, who were shown rehearsing Sidney Barnes' 1968 song of the same title, presenting a poignant glimpse of a country in transition.
Alongside Sound of Music we presented Crossroads (2009), an installation by David Blandy whose work was also included in the exhibition Far West.
Crossroads began as an investigation into the mythology surrounding the legendary Robert Johnson, a bluesman with three gravestones, 29 recorded songs and only two known photographs, who reputedly sold his soul to the devil at the crossroads.
Filmed in the heat of the Mississippi Delta, Crossroads was in part a portrait of a landscape still deeply, though not officially, segregated. The film followed a man with a guitar, the Blues Legend, on his journey to the crossroads to recover his lost soul.
Crossroads was an Arts Council England National Touring Commission initiated by Spike Island and supported by 176, Zabludowicz Collection.