ANDY GRAYDON

Manifest (what
have we here)

Six-channel sound installation
"The Space Between", Mass MoCA, Massachusetts, 2016


View Video Documentation of the Installation


Manifest (what have we here), a site-specific commission, spreads six channels of sound throughout the expanse of a soaring atrium that connects two buildings and three floors with a hefty industrial staircase. The work features a collection of voices emanating from stairwell landings. They mumble to themselves as they each formulate very different proposals for “total” works of art to fill the atrium, drawing inspiration from familiar tropes in contemporary art practice. Individual voices periodically break through the chatter to announce their ideas, which unfurl distinctively up, down, and across the narrow expanse through both visual and experiential description. The evocative delivery of each proposal explodes the boundaries of the ancient tradition of ekphrasis — the rhetorical description of a work of visual art — as each speaker gradually becomes a sonic embodiment of the work he or she describes. The journey into these imagined experiences suspends listeners between multiple unrealized potentialities, and also — perhaps paradoxically — shapes awareness of what already fills the space.

- Nina Wexelblatt, curator, from the exhibition guide

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