školská 28

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Milan Guštar

For Le Caine (Closed for Maintenance)
10.6.27.6.
Mon 9.6. - 18:00

Curator: Jiří Černický

Space in the Interim

The sound installation “For Le Caine (Closed for Maintenance)”, designed for Školská 28 Gallery, makes use of inherent qualities of the gallery space when empty, revealed only during the interim between two exhibitions when the space is otherwise closed to visitors. The distinctive L-shaped floor plan of the gallery has unique acoustic qualities, and the verticle sashless windows and skylights provide pleasant natural lighting.

The acoustic form of the room is delineated using a spatial arrangement of several sound sources that produce independent rhythmic and melodic sequences created by the resynthesized sound of dripping water. The sounds are a reference to the composition “Dripsody”, the author of which, Hugh Le Caine, is a prominent Canadian electroacoustic music composer whose 100th birthday is celebrated this year. After many years of research as a nuclear physicist, design engineer and inventor, Le Caine gradually switched his attention to music and became a composer. Far from the world centers of electroacoustic music, he designed and constructed twenty unique electromechanical and electronic music instruments, often based on original technical solutions that were well ahead of their time in terms of contemporary developements in the field.

The Školská 28 Gallery installation is supplemented by a presentation of Le Caine’s “Dripsody” in the Hole Gallery. This most famous of Le Caine’s compositions was created in 1955 from a recording of a single drop of water. In creating the composition, Le Caine used his Special Purpose Tape Recorder, an electromechanical magnetic tape instrument enabling him to transform, superimpose and connect sound patterns.

“Guštar’s spatial acoustic installations are evolutionarily derived from creative and innovative practices anchored, on one hand, in modernist avant-garde European traditions, and on the other hand (probably more substantially), in the space and time preceding any attempt at a composition. I am thinking of examples of archetypal, ‘magical’ prehistoric sounds, the paradigm of which tends toward a primordial, natural or cosmic character. It may come from a desire to sense, understand and mediate the vibrations of matter transcending through sounds to human consciousness.

“In this sense, the sound installation at Školská 28 is a kind of a pre-composition that captures echoes of a mystical space (a cave), and the sounds penetrating into it through invisible crevices interconnecting the space with the infinite secrets of the nature on the outside. Here, the containers that resound with imaginary water drops represent rudimentary loudspeakers. A grand idea is intentionally understated. The magic of an archetypal cave is swapped for the feeling of a makeshift, common space that is ‘closed for maintenance’.” (Jiří Černický)

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