“Tanya Bonakdar Gallery is pleased to announce its first solo exhibition with multidisciplinary artist Jónsi, on view at the gallery’s Los Angeles space from November 16, 2019 through January 9, 2020.
What is the shape of sound? What does it feel like? Can we smell it? How does it move through your body and what kind of sensations does it trigger? These are the questions that are posed by Jónsi in his first exhibition at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery in Los Angeles. Best known for producing distinctive musical sounds ranging from hypnotic ambient incantations to driving sonic waves as a member of the band Sigur Rós, Jónsi has expanded his artistic practice over the past few years in a series of collaborations with visual artists such as Doug Aitken, Olafur Eliasson, Merce Cunningham and most recently the artist and composer Carl Michael von Hausswolf with whom he formed the musical duo Dark Morph. In the wake of these collaborations, Jónsi’s most recent solo aesthetic explorations have resulted in a series of immersive installations that sculpt with sound as they ask us to meditate on the liminal threshold between our bodies and the world around us.
In a series of three new gallery-based works, Jónsi riffs on the invocation of sensory inversion in Goethe’s fifth Roman Elegy in which the Romantic poet makes a connection between the experience of a lover’s body and a classical marble sculpture with the phrase, “see with a feeling eye, feel with a seeing hand.” In Jónsi’s remix, Goethe’s advice to experience the world in a different way is given a sonic update that might read as follows: “hear with a feeling ear, feel with a hearing hand.” Seeing, hearing, feeling – each of these senses collapse upon one another in Jónsi’s work as sound takes a concrete form and the tactile and the auditory merge into a surprising synesthesia. While one might read these works within the lineage of bombastic noise experiments harkening back to those of the Italian Futurists who championed the revolutionary aspects of noise in opposition to formal music, Jónsi’s approach is far more interested in exploring the phenomenological complication and extension of the senses as an antidote to a world in which we are constantly confronted by the agitated white noise of contemporary civilization. In his work there is an overarching attempt to assert the primacy of the auditory, the tactile, and the visual in helping the human organism navigate its way through this unmoored and volatile world.” – per website
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