Sound Installations Rule This Month's Gallery Shows


Sound tends to take a backseat to the visual in gallery exhibitions. This weekend, however, two high-profile shows turn to the sonic, as Jacqueline Kiyomi Gordon transforms Eli Ridgway gallery through a series of “audible confrontations” and Tyson Vogel, of folk rock duo Two Gallants, opens house after a month-long residency at Ever Gold. Listen up.

The Looming Symphonies: Your Streets Are My Song, at Ever Gold Gallery

It will be a big year for Tyson Vogel, who forms one half of folk rock duo Two Gallants. The internationally celebrated band will release its fourth full-length album on September 4th and embark on a three month, 70-plus date US/European tour soon after. For the moment, however, he’s finishing up a month-long residency at Ever Gold Gallery, where he has been composing “sound installations” as an individual artist.

This weekend, he’ll be performing and holding open house at Ever Gold’s intimate Tenderloin space. It goes without saying that this will be a rare treat.

In The Looming Symphonies, Vogel explores the influence of environment on our day-to-day sensibilities and, personally, his art. Music is always conceived and composed somewhere, Vogel stresses. Obvious as this may seem, we tend to view the place of art making – studio, gallery, bedroom, wherever – as merely contingent to, rather than a part of, the art itself. In this exhibition, Vogel aims to render the two inseparable.

The exact nature of the installation can hardly be described here. Allow Vogel’s prelude to suffice: “Looming Symphonies: Your Streets Are My Song… is a sonic symphony whose elements and players will be only the honest sounds of the Tenderloin and its inhabitance, that I as the conductor will try to represent and interpret as an ode to the un-devoted affects that direct and define us all.”

The Looming Symphonies: Your Streets Are My Song will be open Saturday, August 18 and Sunday, August 19 from 1pm – 10pm, at Ever Gold Gallery, 441 O’Farrell Street. Opening reception and performance: Friday, August 17 from 6 – 10pm

Jacqueline Kiyomi Gordon: No Touch, at Eli Ridgway Gallery

When radar was introduced in World War II, the blind senator Thomas Gore, unimpressed, supposedly remarked “I’ve been using that for years.” Though the sighted are prone to forget it (or overlook it, if you will), it is a fact that sound hugely determines our sense of space. In her first solo showing at Eli Ridgway gallery, acclaimed artist Jacqueline Kiyomi Gordon promises to help visitors remember – rather aggressively.

Using the gallery space’s standing structural surfaces (drywall, cement, glass) as well as various sound-altering media (foam, felt, fabric), the artist has set up three works that absorb and/or reflect sound in deliberate patterns, in effect distorting the acoustics of the two-story gallery space and altering the visitor’s spatial experience in turn. The gallery refers to the installations as “audible confrontations.” They ought to be eye opening.

No Touch runs from August 17 through September 25 at Eli Ridgway Gallery, 172 Minna Street. Opening Reception: Friday, August 17, from 5:30 – 7:30pm

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