Raised in Geneva and living in London and New York, Christian Marclay (b. 1955) explores the relationship between art, music, and popular culture in his multifaceted work. Titled Action, the present exhibition at the Aargauer Kunsthaus focuses, for the first time, on his artistic interest in the subject of onomatopoeia. As a pioneer of turntablism, performer, and artist he has since received international recognition for his sound-based collages, videos, sculptures, paintings, and photographs.
This solo exhibition features the immersive, space-activating video animation Surround Sounds (2014 – 15), early and lesser-known works as well as a large number of new paintings and works on paper. Marclay’s most recent work explores the onomatopoetic potential of written words and, by means of a complex procedure, create colorful, vocable collages that are based on a superimposition of printmaking and painting.
For his Hanging Scrolls (2011), which are presented here for the first time in Europe, Hächler Fuhrimann Architects have created a contemporary interpretation of a Japanese teahouse in collaboration with the artist. Within the exhibition this pavilion-like structure serves as both platform and stage for traditional tea ceremonies, musical performances, and a series of talks and lectures.
Marclay’s practice is shaped by the principle of «sampling,» transforming readymade materials as he did with vinyl records throughout the 1980s and more recently with found film footage. In contrast to those works, the ones presented in Action are entirely silent but preoccupied with evoking sound within the viewer, making us aware how intensely we «hear» with our eyes.
A comprehensive catalogue (in German, English and French) will be published in conjunction with the exhibition.