Render Visible: The Exhibition

Present Projects a series of temporary invasions by guest colleagues [back room gallery]
29 Wythe Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211  |  ENTRANCE: 103 N 13th St

Render Visible
organized by Blonde Art Books in collaboration with Matthew Walker

September 30 – October 28, 2012
RECEPTION:  Friday, October 5  (7-10pm)
GALLERY HOURS:  Saturday and Sunday, noon to 6pm

Lea Bertucci, Shelley Burgon, Seth CluettEve Essex & Juan Antonio Olivares, Guy Goldstein, Ben Hall & Nate Wooley, Matt Marble, Daniel Neumann, Elliott Sharp, Jo-ey Tang, Hannah Whitaker, and Philip White
Frog Peak Music, Theresa Sauer, JSBJ, Swill Children, Little Paper Planes, Shifter, FO A RM Magazine, MIT Press, Continuum, ARTBOOK | D.A.P., The Kitchen, Miguel Abreu Gallery, Errant Bodies Press, Duke University Press Books, TriLiteral, LLC, and others.d
Friday, October 19 – Shelley Burgon, and Eve Essex & Juan Antonio Olivares  (8pm)
Wednesday, October 24 – Nate Wooley and Philip White  (8pm)

“Should I switch over to the invisible world?”
– Fischl and Weiss, Will Happiness Find Me?

Recently I wrote a letter that was addressed to ‘Render Visible’ in which I claimed that graphic notation and other visual documents of sound are respondent to Pauline Oliveros’ question ‘Why can’t sounds be visible?’ I am still convinced that she must have been making a statement rather than asking a question. In fact I originally called it a proposition. Yet it is now clear that I do not see Oliveros’ question as a challenge to artists as much as a proclamation of the potential of sound and the act of listening. The proposition was mine.  

Render Visible’ is a multifaceted presentation of books, works on paper, and performances organized by Blonde Art Books in collaboration with Matthew Walker. In his book Francis Bacon, The Logic of Sensation (1981) Gilles Deleuze wrote, “Paul Klee’s famous formula – ‘Not to render the visible, but to render visible’ – means nothing else.” He applies Klee’s quote to Francis Bacon’s paintings in order to highlight the artist’s sensitivity to non-visible forces and his ability to render them visible.

The artworks presented are typified by their transformation of a functioning musical composition or mapping document from a sound-based performance into a work of visual art. The works are authored by a diverse group of artists, composers, photographers, painters, musicians, performers, engineers, academics, producers, and writers including Lea BertucciShelley BurgonSeth CluettEve Essex & Juan Antonio Olivares, Guy GoldsteinBen Hall & Nate WooleyMatt MarbleDaniel Neumann, Elliott SharpJo-ey TangHannah Whitaker, and Philip White. As a collective, they demonstrate a similar sensitivity to sound’s intimate relationship with visual art practices.

The second component of ‘Render Visible’ is the curated library and bookstore containing over one hundred titles from publishers including Frog Peak Music, Swill Children, FO A RM Magazine, MIT Press, Errant Bodies Press, among others. The collection was compiled following a period of research and dialogue with artists, academics, and publishers participating in the fields of sound art and experimental music. The books function as a vehicle to access and materialize knowledge about a complex medium. The texts focus on the criticism of sound-based practices along with their relationship to architecture, language, and cultural history. Additionally, the library contains works by independent publishers and artists who have produced special editions, abstract publications of graphic scores, and magazines that emphasize critical analysis of contemporary practitioners.

The final component of the presentation is a series of four distinct performances by artists Shelley Burgon, Eve Essex & Juan Antonio Olivares, Nate Wooley, and Philip White. Each of the performers has contributed an artwork to be exhibited and many are published in one or more texts in the library. These aural interpretations, most of which are being performed for the first time, go beyond merely demonstrating the functionality of their visual counterpart. The events render visible the connection between visual art practice and sound, making evident the significance of improvisation, spatiality, imagination, and interpretation that exists in all art making.

Established by Sonel Breslav in 2012, Blonde Art Books is an organization dedicated to promoting exceptional publications about and by international artists. The blog collects and disseminates information about self-publishing, printing resources, and book production grants in the fields of art, poetry, criticism, and cultural studies.  Blonde Art Books curates book-centric exhibitions that examine the connections between traditionally exhibited artwork and the books, magazines, and other printed matter that inform and shape their conception. In addition, Blonde Art Books participates in pop-up bookshop events that feature international independent art publications by contemporary artists and small presses.

Matthew Walker is a composer, performer, and arts administrator.  He received a bachelor’s degree in Music Composition from the College of Wooster and a Master’s degree in Music Composition from the University of Louisville, where he held a Bomhard Fellowship.  From 2007 – 2009, he recorded and toured with the essentially unknown band Saw Fist Tree. Since 2009, he has spent most of his time fundraising for ISSUE Project Room.

Present Projects is a subsidiary of Present Company, which evolves from the collaborative exploits of Brian Balderston, Chad Stayrook and José Ruiz. Over the past several years, the principals have exhibited their own work and developed curatorial projects for national and international audiences in numerous art spaces, galleries, museums and biennials. Their 2,100 sq. ft. space in Williamsburg, Brooklyn opened in December 2011 and is a decentralized, evolving platform that entertains all relevant areas of artistic production and promotion.

1. Hannah Whitaker, Imaginary Landscape No. 1 (Phrases 1 – 4), 2012, archival pigment print, 11×14 inches
2. Render Visible, Installation
3. Eve Essex & Juan Antonio Olivares, performance detail

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