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EXHIBITIONS

Jacqueline Kiyomi Gordon “Catchy” at Empty Gallery, Hong Kong

Empty Gallery is pleased to present Catchy, LA-based installation artist Jacqueline Kiyomi Gordon’s first solo exhibition in East Asia. Gordon’s practice employs sound diffused into the exhibition space through elaborate multichannel speaker systems, which the artist then manipulates through precise placement of sculptures composed of various acoustic materials. This interaction between sound, sculpture and architecture creates complex acoustic environments which shift according to the position and orientation of the viewer — underlining the embodied nature of aural perception as well as the complex geometry of sound transmission. Gordon’s formal concerns synthesize an inspired mixture of influences, merging a Minimalist concern with spatial exploration reminiscent of Robert Morris, with the psychoacoustic investigations of experimental composers such as Alvin Lucier and Maryanne Amacher.

Although in the past Gordon’s installations have investigated the sonic infrastructure of concert stadiums and military testing sites, for Catchy she tackles a sphere of cultural production fraught with meaning for contemporary subjectivity: the recording studio. At once hermetic and clinical, the studio’s very existence is premised on the precise separation of signals, functions, and individuals into discrete, manipulable, and repeatable units – a seemingly paradigmatic example of the technological dominance of the human. However, the paradox of “the studio” is that it is simultaneously the expressive site of our most intimate subjectivity and our most human fears and desires, as they are articulated through popular music; Catchy aims to unpack and explore this complex relationship.

In a first for the artist, Gordon has composed a pop song in Los Angeles in collaboration with MNDR, Mess Kid, Carolyn Pennypacker Riggs and Jonathan Mandabach. This song is diffused throughout Empty Gallery’s two floors by a multi-channel speaker system which Gordon has used to fragment the composition into its component parts – localizing different elements of the song in specific regions of the space. This soundscape is further sculpted and filtered through Gordon’s physical interventions in the gallery. These take the form of a maze of sound blocking and reflecting inflatable structures which rise and fall in sync with the song, as well as a series of hybrid soundblanket-tapestries. The space of the gallery thus becomes an inversion of the recording studio, in which the seamless surface of pop production is exploded into its component parts in a deconstruction which is at once critical and playful.

Jacqueline Kiyomi Gordon (b. 1982) lives and works in Los Angeles, California.

Her hybrid practice combines work in sound installation, sculpture, and performance with the aim of reconfiguring the traditional hierarchies between audience, performer, and architecture. The sculptural and sonic systems she creates often reference complex sonic histories embedded into the technological infrastructure of architecture, music, communications technologies and military research. By investigating the networks of institutional and technological power which traverse our embodied perception of sound, she hopes to reveal the myriad ways in which our acoustic experience is subject to control, and suggest alternative modes of engagement with the sonic world.

Gordon has had recent solo shows at The Lab (2016), Western Front (2016), Et Al Etc (2016) and The Yerba Buena Center For The Arts (2014), Eli Ridgeway Gallery (2012) and Queens Nails Projects (2009) among others. She was included in the VAC Foundation’s Geometry of Now (2017) exhibition in Moscow and will also participate in SFMoMA’s upcoming sound art survey Soundtracks (2017). Presentations of her work have also been staged at Machine Projects, EMPAC, Mills College, and other venues. Gordon’s work is represented in the collections of the VAC foundation, SFMoMA, and Berkeley Art Museum as well as in various private collections.

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at Empty Gallery, Hong Kong
until 19 August 2017

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