Modulations #4 - Constellation Haze

Modulation #4, Constellation Haze
The Eastern Southland Gallery, Gore, New Zealand
(Part of the touring exhibition series Modulations: Cantata ReConfigured)

by Lyn Plummer

As implied by the title, the installations move from one gallery to the next and in their reconfiguration they are concerned with charging and changing the nature of each of the spaces. They ReConfigure and introduce new works which respond to the nature and volume of the space of each gallery. Many of the new pieces added during the current procession of this Series, have been based on responses to a recent visit to the Andalucían, Semana Santa processions.

Modulations has been visualized as a series of installations that sets up a sense of pilgrimage: one which extends over a number of years and encompasses conceptually both the artist and the viewer. The observer when travelling to different venues and witnessing the shift from one gallery space to another, (or understanding this conceptually through lectures with visuals and floor talks), may sense the mutation of meaning and relevance of each of the pieces, as well as that of the spaces themselves. The idea is to merge the concept of a participating observer with that of the researcher and the artist. Over a period of time, the accretion of new objects in concerto with those already presented, imparts new associations and readings.

As the title also suggests, Modulations, infers changes in pitch and tone and consequently in the shifts in connotations possible in utterances and the traces of marks of all types. The exhibitions involve both the mark/trace, as well as sound as Cantatas. These are a way of marking/recording the existence of an experience of life. We tend to take for granted the possession of language and the sense of control that this facility offers us. The structures within languages relate directly to the nature of the mediums employed and their inherent processes. For instance stitching, embroidery and lace-making too have vocabularies that form languages. These variants in communication, like the visual arts languages, while tangible and vital, are in a sense silent and are therefore often not recognized, or are overlooked. While each of the earlier installations in the series concentrated on a sense of ecclesiastical rituals and their underlying meanings, with an accent on the unheard voices of the collective makers of the accoutrements of power, this installation concentrates on the “Silent Thoughts” of the singular voice.

Little musings of the ‘common woman’, who silently ponders the remembered punishments and injuries, her private aspirations and fears, the lost dreams and opportunities. The architectural individuality of the Eastern Southland Gallery invited a new configuration. It endorsed the entrance into a virtual or imagined space. It sanctioned a looking up, a gazing; a quiet reflection on the private desires and dreams drawn from that collective voice. Each of the sound tracks in the installations forms an important element in the idea of a language evolving and the discovery of the voice of challenge, dissent and dreaming.

Lyn Plummer, © 2008