Harman Pro UK supplied sound equipment for the British Architectural Association’s Can Buildings Curate? exhibition. Viewing the modern gallery setting as a site of artistic and architectural adventure, it explores the role of the modern gallery and the tensions and relationships that exist between exhibition spaces, their host buildings, and the art being presented within them.
The show opened in May at the AA Gallery in London and is now touring: first to the LOT gallery in Bristol, then to New York City’s Storefront for Art & Architecture in September, and finally to Leipzig, Germany’s Gallery of Contemporary Art. There are four sound pieces within the 15 exhibits, emphasizing the importance of design techniques within a space.
"It’s been really invigorating to be working with the Architectural Association on such an excellent project," comments Harman communications manager Su Planta.
One of the original works at the AA Gallery, David Cunningham’s "Exterior," an exterior context-based installation in the front basement of the building, utilized JBL Control Series enclosures. For "Exterior," Cunningham used the shadowy space between the street and below the façade of the building. He rigged the two JBL Control 25s each with a mike going through a noise gate and a mixer and then going back out through the speakers, producing a cyclic sound that recycles itself and animates the building–having an impact on visitors before they enter the space. Harman also supplied the amplifier.
Nicholas Hirsch’s "Meander - Sound Architecture for Frequencies-Hz" features the work of 12 sound artists replayed through a ceiling speaker enclosed in a booth covered with insulation foam from tractor engines. The resulting sounds can be odd with very high frequencies, so the JBL Control 26C was used to promote sound quality. The work creates a personal listening space within the public environment of the gallery.
AS-IF architects and curator Barbara Steiner created a video work at the Gallery for Contemporary Art in Leipzig. It is played back via a DVD player and a pair of JBL Creature speakers chosen for their architectural shape (they resemble Darth Vader helmets).
The final sound piece, Drabble + Sachs and Isa Stürm Performance Debate, features three sets of AKG K101 headphones through which visitors can listen to a tripartite debate between the architect, the artist, and the curator.
The well-attended exhibition has received outstanding reviews. The AA Exhibitions Team of Vanessa Norwood, Simone Sagi, and Lee Regan were grateful to Harmon Pro’s sponsorship of the exhibition. Can Buildings Curate is curated and designed by Newbetter: Shumon Basar, Joshua Bolchover, and architect Parag Sharma. For more information, visit www.newbetter.co.uk.
For more information about the Architectural Association visit www.aaschool.ac.uk.