The Infinite Mix: Contemporary Sound and Image Exhibition is currently available to view for free at the Hayward Gallery in the Southbank Centre. I went along to see how prominent artists are producing audio-visual artworks. It’s possible that we could see elements of these works replicated by artists in the music charts.
Ralph Rugoff, the Exhibition Curator says that ‘The Infinite Mix includes works that address tumultuous histories and cultural tensions in ways that are thought-provoking as well as deeply entertaining.’ He summarises the exhibition by saying that ‘Together, the works in this exhibition ambitiously expand the ways in which we experience moving images and sound, and open up new veins of meaning in art’s potentially ‘infinite mix’.’
My favourite part of the exhibition was a audio visual piece by the artist Rachel Rose called ‘Everything and More’. In the piece, the US astronaut David Wolf narrates his experience of looking down on Earth from space and the sensory disorientation he experienced on his return to Earth. Rachel Rose uses materials such as milk and water that have been manipulated with an air compressor to create the galactic images that are shown alongside the narration. The method is surprisingly effective and you do start to believe that you are looking at actual galaxies in space.
The Artist Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster produced a piece titled ‘OPERA’ which uses a holographic illusion of the famed soprano Maria Callas. The piece is supposed to be considered as a kind of seance and is supposed to represent the influence by the development of photography. I personally didn’t find the hologram to be particularly effective and due to the popularity of the exhibition it was difficult to get close enough to see it properly.
Stan Douglas’ piece titled ‘Luanda-Kinshasa’ is a documentary that is set on a set resembling a legendary New York Recording Studio. A fictional 1970’s Jazz Funk band play a seemingly endless real time jam. Out of all the pieces at the exhibition, this was the one that people seemed to enjoy the most. People were starting to dance along to the video and it felt like we were all in the studio with the band. The vibes in this room were much lighter and care free than a lot of the other works that do address more serious social issues.
Overall, I found the Infinite Mix Exhibition to be really interesting and well worth a visit. There is a total of 10 pieces available to see which have all been produced by different artists. I thought that the structure of how the pieces were arranged in the gallery worked very well and there was a logical and easy flow between them. The popularity of the exhibition did mean that there were queues to view most of the pieces and when you did get into the various rooms to see the works, they were often overcrowded. Whilst this wasn’t a huge problem, it did prevent me from seeing some of the works in close enough detail which was often required in order to fully appreciate them.
Unfortunately, picture taking was not prohibited at this exhibition but there are further details available at the exhibitions website: http://www.theinfinitemix.com/