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Main Gallery

Guy Goldstein: Absolute Pitch

Curator: Karina Kottová
7.5.28.5.
Wed 6.5. - 18:00

Opening performance: Guy Goldstein & ba:zel / Dan Vlček, Ewelina Chiu

Hearing is spherical, vision is directional; hearing immerses its subject, vision offers a perspective; sounds come to us, but vision travels to its object; hearing is concerned with interiors, vision is concerned with surfaces; hearing involves physical contact with the outside world, vision requires distance from it…

Jonathan Sterne, The Sound Studies Reader (Abingdon: Routledge, 2012)

In his solo exhibition designed for Školská Gallery, Guy Goldstein, an Israeli artist of Czech descent, presents an original take on the theme of the visualization of sound and sonification of images. He combines his sensitive drawing skills with multi-level audio and video work, exploring not only the relationship between the realms of visual art and music or sound, but also invoking the notions of flatness vs. three-dimensionality, light and darkness, color and void, the positive and the negative, and observation and action, into his highly aesthetic, yet intellectually sophisticated, discourse.

The key to reading, viewing, or, perhaps, listening to this installation, is a series of drawings titled Partitura for Blue Noise (2013). These abstractions reduce the color palette to black and blue, while their shapes and compositions suggest a rhythmical or sonic component. They can be seen as analogous to the sound of a pencil, drawing a series of subtle lines on the white paper, or of graphite with its dusty character creating solid black plains of colors and curved marks, which recall the fast and smooth movements of the artist’s hand. In some cases, the creation of these particular pieces becomes more mechanized, the hand of the artist being “extended” using a drill which holds the graphite or pencil. Copying and reprinting parts of the images onto other places, with the help of sticky vinyl, substitutes for the action of “recording”. However, despite these rather craftsmanlike methods, the drawings also evoke a somewhat synthetic, or digital impression, as in the end they optically resemble the aesthetics of spectral waterfalls or visualizations from sound manipulation software.

The double-faced reality of the drawings sets in motion a series of reinterpretations and manipulations, which the artist undertakes. After “writing” the drawings, similar in complexity and sense to an inner structure used in writing musical scores, Goldstein “reads” these drawings through live performances and translates them into video animations. The sound of these is recaptured yet again, this time in spectrographic prints. The transcription process involves software based on a vintage Russian machine, which allows for the creation of visual images of sound waves. This stage closes the imaginary relational circle and opens it up to new interpretations by the audience or other artists. Although the backstage procedures may sound rather complicated, the actual impact of the works is immediately accessible to the naked eye and ear. Leaving the technical aspects aside, the installation is foremost an emotional journey, an audiovisual space odyssey: Goldstein, in his own specific way, travels alongside a tradition of artists who explore inter-genre and inter-sensory experiences in order to reveal some of the sublimity, urgency, intricacy and kindness of the universe(s) we participate in.

Karina Kottová

Guy Goldstein (1974) is an Israel-born artist and musician, currently living and working between Tel-Aviv and New York. Goldstein Holds MFA degree from The Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem (2005-2007). His works have been exhibited in Europe (Hamburg, Berlin, Bremen, Malaga, Paris, Prague, Helsinki, Brussels, London, Portugal, Copenhagen and others) as well as in Israel and the USA (New York, Chicago and Washington DC). Among his major shows are the O.R.B. in Petach Tikva Museum of Art, Israel, 2014, Transcription of Blue in AU Museum in Kazen Art Centre in Washington DC, 2015, Yes/No Questions in Hertzliya Museum, Israel, 2013, Pavilion 0, 55th Venice Biennale, 2013, Propagation in KW, Berlin, 2014, 2 solo shows in Rooster gallery, NYC, 2012/2015.
He received the Israeli Minister of Culture Award, 2012 and The Israeli Ministry of Culture Award for Young Artist in 2007. Goldstein is the director of the Visual Communication Department at Musrara, The Naggar School of Art, Jerusalem. Guy is also a bass player, member of the well-established Israeli rock band Reines Girls.