Jan 9, 2014 - Apr 27, 2014
The centerpiece of the exhibition will be Crickets (2012), a video and audio installation of an orchestral performance based on the sound of crickets. Thomson collaborated with Los Angeles-based composer Michael Webster to transcribe a compilation of field recordings of crickets from around the world into a musical score for a 17-person orchestra. The result is a composition for violin, flute, clarinet and percussion, which sounds uncannily like the real thing. Crickets will be installed in Artpace’s second-floor Hudson (Show)Room, which will be converted into a cinema with the video projected life-size to mimic the live performance. Ethereal blind-debossed letterpress prints with the musical score of the orchestral piece will line the entry way to the gallery to complete the installation upstairs. Accompanying the video will be sculptures in the form of a series of cricket cages. Made by the artist, each one will house an iPod playing the sound of one of the instruments-or the sound of a lonely insect. The cages will be distributed around the large storefront gallery at Artpace, and the sound of the crickets will be projected outside in front of the building.
The project sums up Thomson’s interests in backgrounds and in audience succinctly: crickets are such a ubiquitous aural backdrop that they have come to stand in for silence; in the realm of performance, crickets are what is heard when a performance bombs.
Mungo Thomson is a Los Angeles-based artist whose work explores mass culture, cosmology, and reception with economy and wit. He has been described as a perceptual artist who works with language and context rather than light and space. His work addresses the voids that exist within culture-the gaps, pauses, digressions and mistakes that surround material production, institutional space, and everyday life.