Go See – New York: ‘WHITE NOISE’ at James Cohan Gallery through August 12, 2009

July 29th, 2009

white noise james cohan gallery
From “White Noise,” a group show at the James Cohan Gallery.

The James Cohan Gallery is hosting “White Noise,” a show that incorporates pieces by various artists that focus on silence.  Can one write silence? portray it in art? Is silence merely the absence of sound or an entity in itself? These are among the questions which the performance artists, painters, photographers, installation artists, and video artists of “White Noise” confront, in an exhibition that features an additional four new works specially commissioned for the show.  Nick Cave, Simon Evans, Brendan Fowler, and Fred Tomaselli present exhibition-specific works, alongside those by well-known artists Laurie Anderson, Robert Morris, Joseph Beuys, Yoko Ono, and more.

Related links:
James Cohan Gallery : WHITE NOISE
Exhibition of Sounds to be Looked at and Objects to be Heard at James Cohan Gallery [artdaily]

Jack pierson, silence, white noise james cohan gallery
Jack Pierson, “Silence,” at James Cohan Gallery.

More images and story after the jump…

The survey show explores the overlap between art, music, and sound.  The press release for the event opens with a George Brecht quote: “No matter what you do, you’re always hearing something.”  The agenda of the event is clear: similar to John Cage’s 4’33, a silent symphony wherein the audience’s noise becomes the music, the pieces in the exhibition assert that the absence of one noise begets another.  At the heart of the exhibition are Robert Morris’s “Box with the Sound of its Own Making” (1961) and Joseph Beuys’s “Ja ja ja ja ja nee nee nee nee nee” (1969).  The first, comprised of a nine-inch cube consisting of a nine-inch cube containing a three-hour taping of own construction, hearkens back to early process-based art.  The second is a pile of felt which has at its center an audio tape, which plays and replays the artist chanting the German words for “yes” and “no.”  The pieces, quite literally, speak — and in the case of Morris’s, speak of themselves.  There is no such thing, says the James Cohan Gallery, as silence.

simon evans, music, james cohan gallery, white noise
Simon Evans, “Music,” at James Cohan Gallery.

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Lucas Ajemian and Jason Ajemian, “Untitled,” a 12-minute video in “White Noise.” Still courtesy of the gallery.

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Yoko Ono, “Fly,” part of “White Noise” at James Cohan Gallery. Via IMAGINE PEACE.

robin rhode, untitled, microphone white noise james cohan gallery
Robin Rhode, “Untitled, Microphone,” video 10 minutes, 44 seconds. Still courtesy of the gallery.

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Anne Collier, “Sylvia Plath,” at James Cohan Gallery.

Co-curated by Elyse Goldberg and Jessica Lin Cox, the exhibition features Lucas Ajemian and Jason Ajemian; Laurie Anderson; Ronnie Bass; Joseph Beuys; Nick Cave; Martha Colburn; Anne Collier; Moyra Davey; Tacita Dean; Simon Evans; Brendan Fowler; Rodney Graham; Chris Hanson and Hendrika Sonnenberg; Jay King and Mario Diaz de León; Jacob Kirkegaard; Jutta Koether; Jim Lambie; Louise Lawler; Christian Marclay; David Moreno; Robert Morris; Yorko Ono; Raymond Pettibon; Jack Pierson; Robin Rhode; Jamie Shovlin; Robert Smithson; Meredyth Sparks; Reena Spaulings; Emily Sundblad; and Fred Tomaselli.

meredyth sparks, the ramones vi, james cohan gallery, white noise
Meredyth Sparks, “The Ramones VI,” at James Cohan Gallery.

fred tomaselli stack white noise james cohan gallery
Fred Tomaselli, “Stack,” at James Cohan Gallery.

jamie shovlin, christian emmerich 12 march 1979 berlin quasimodo (lustfaust poster) white noise james cohan gallery
Jamie Shovlin, “Christian Emmerich, 12 March 1979, Berlin Quasimodo (Lustfaust Poster)” at James Cohan Gallery.

jutta koether untitled (eagle, swastika, chimes) white noise james cohan gallery
Jutta Koether, “Untitled (Eagle, swarstika, chimes),” at James Cohan Gallery.

moyra davey, untitled (speaker), white noise, James cohan gallery
Moyra Davey, “Untitled (Speaker),” at James Cohan Gallery.

white noise james cohan gallery
Installation view, courtesy of the gallery.

white noise james cohan gallery
Installation view, courtesy of the gallery.

– R. Fogel