Thursday, November 05, 2009

An Exhibition of Media Art Based on Popular Song

An Exhibition of Media Art Based on Popular Song

October 30 - November 21, 2009
Opening Reception, Friday, November 6, 5-8pm
The Artlab, John Labatts Visual Arts Centre,
The University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada
Since the earliest years of rock and roll, artists have used popular music and the materials of popular music culture to explore issues of celebrity, sexual politics, cultural and sub-cultural identity, the influence of mass media on human emotion, and the displacement of spiritual desire within modernity. Variously expressive of homage, envy, obsession, or ideological critique, artworks that incorporate the images and materials of popular music bear witness to the powerful role it plays in defining contemporary culture and its desires.
This exhibition explores the use that artists have made of the popular song to reflect on its format, its contents, its mythologies and the emotions it engages.
SONGSHOW explores a particular form of imitation that is neither derivative nor disconnected: more embrace than impersonation. It is an exhibition that looks at the way in which artists distill from popular songs something that cannot be reduced to reference but instead reconnects us with the special powers a song possesses once it has become caked with memories of local legend, mythic celebrity and misadventure.
Kathleen Pirrie Adams
Daniela Sneppova

SONGSHOW is an exhibition of eight artworks which each subject a particular song to a wild (but discerning) transformation. With something of the original still intact, each artwork moves the associations and affect of the song onto new terrain. Led Zepplin is played against the iconic landscape of the West Coast and at the foot of the stairs of St. Paul’s Cathedral; Britney Spears lands in the antebellum cotton fields and Prince in a Glasgow bed-sit.

The Artists: Anti-Cool in collaboration with Duchess Says, Japan, Canada. Beagles and Ramsey, Scotland. Candice Breitz, Germany. Michael Paul Britto, USA. Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay, Canada. Jeroen Offerman, Netherlands. Steina and Woody Vasulka, USA.
This Exhibition is made possible with the generous support of the Ontario Arts Council, The Canada Council, The Visual Arts Department of the University of Western Ontario, The Faculty of Arts and The Faculty of Information and Media Studies at the University of Western Ontario, and New Media, School of Image Arts at Ryerson University. Special thanks to Susan Edelstein and the Artlab committee and Patrick Mahon.


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