Fig. 1 (these things we know)
Honolulu Museum of Art, 2015
For his first solo exhibition in Hawai‘i, Maui-born and raised Andy Graydon has created a two-channel sound installation featuring the recordings of two voices, one speaking in English and one speaking the same words in ‘?lelo Hawai‘i (Hawaiian language). Graydon is interested in the acoustic ecology of sound, what it means for an object to be visible, and what other dynamics are needed to shape impressions and convey presence. Stories, language, history, presentation, and the power of the human voice are elements that Graydon incorporates in his “voice sculptures.”
After spending several days looking at works in the museum’s collection, Graydon became intrigued by the relationship between an object and its place or environment. He was drawn to works that were old, well-used, weathered, or whose purpose was unknown or questioned, pondering how these objects relate to one another, the impact of the absence or loss of information and whether that changes the meaning of objects.
Graydon selected two groups of works that represent a variety of geographic and historical backgrounds. He composed detailed, poetic, and questioning narratives to evoke the presence of the objects, although they are absent from the physical space.
The strategic pairings of the recorded English descriptions (spoken by Graydon) and the Hawaiian descriptions (translated and spoken by Dr. Puakea Nogelmeier) reveal how objects and spaces are given significance by ritual, performance, and social structure as much as by the tangible forms themselves. Replacing the actual objects with sound highlights this phenomenon.
- Allison Wong, curator's text