There is no there there —
A composition in four parts. Before. During. After.
May 2nd through May 6th, 2015
Jules Gimbrone has made objects which speak. Previously recorded sounds are reproduced by the objects themselves, which are played back through transducers attached to them. Various surfaces and things that are generally associated with the making or muffling of sound have been arranged on platforms throughout the gallery. A broken guitar leans on one platform with a pot hanging above it. Another sculpture of foam presses against the wall with a light shining softly through it, like a body. Cords and microphones are thoughtfully placed across the gallery floor, reminders of the auditory that protect the viewer from the impulse only to look. Along with the objects’ own sounds, a narrative script Gimbrone wrote emanates from each sculpture, making this work an immersive experience.
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The minute you or anybody else knows what you are you are not it, you are what you or anybody else knows you are and as everything in living is made up of finding out what you are it is extraordinarily difficult really not to know what you are and yet to be that thing.
…There is no there there.
– Everybody’s Autobiography, Gertrude Stein
To me, queer is simultaneously an intensely private and highly contested political body. In popular culture difference is often deciphered in the flash of an image, a word, a pose into a two-dimensional presentation, which is then identified, categorized, sensationalized, scrutinized, objectified, and ultimately ghettoized by structures of power and privilege. Sound, like queer, is a reprioritization of the nuanced body, the flexible body, the imagined body, and the listening body.
I find that in a visually dominated world we are conditioned to a flattening of information through quick optical interpretation of difference. A more complex understanding of subjecthood can come from the auditory, and this is why I typically work with sound. I’m less interested in what a queer subject appears to be than what it does and what is done to it, what shapes it and what it shapes, and more specifically where it asserts its autonomy and power in a world that is intent on its’ categorical silence.
This project is the first installment of Threshing Floors, on view through May 31, 2015.
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Jules Gimbrone approaches sound and composition through architectural, sculptural and choreographic interplay. Concerned with a tension between conceptual systems and their inevitable demise, the container and the contained, the visual and the sonic, Gimbrone’s work exposes multiple failures and queerings of the performative and pre-formative body. For Gimbrone, sound is more methodology than medium. Gimbrone “makes noise-detectives and sonic snoops, audio trills and booms, seeking out the corner of a room with spatial intent. Gimbrone’s sound searches for borders of confinement and pushes through, beyond, under and around, taking up physical space and creating new space as it moves. The work quite literally inhabits places yet to be charted. Sound for Gimbrone is the most radical of mediums. Unlike water, which changes form yet remains a physical element, or earth, which is always solid, sound can mimic, shroud, lull, electrify, frighten and most of all, travel. (Niki Darling, ARTBound 2014)” Gimbrone co-created, and curates Pack Projects, an art-music collective based in New York City and Los Angeles. Gimbrone’s work has been shown at venues including; LA><ART, FLAX Fahrenheit, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, FOCA LA, VOX Populi, Human Resources LA, ISSUE Project Room, 3LD Art & Technology Center, MOMA PS 1, Socrates Sculpture Park, The Performance Project, and Cameo Gallery. Gimbrone recently received a MFA from CalARTS in 2014.
Image: Jules Gimbrone, Rooms, Junk, and Other Forces, 2015. Photo by Dorothée Thébert Filliger