Christian Marclay: Action / Aargauer Kunsthaus, Aarau

Zoom Zoom, Froosh Sploosh, Bam: The exhibition Christian Marclay: Action at Aargauer Kunsthaus in Aarau (Switzerland) focuses on Swiss American artist Christian Marclay’s interest in the subject of onomatopoeia. The show features around 120 works, which – in contrast to Marclay’s many sound-based works – are silent, although they do aim to evoke sounds within the viewer, to make us aware of how intensely we “hear” with our eyes. One example is the work Manga Scroll (2010). It employs onomatopoeia collected from English language translations of Japanese manga which Marclay collaged into a vocal “score” that runs the length of a 20 meter long makimono roll. The result is a sequence of sounds that was brought to life on the occasion of the opening reception of the exhibition by the Swiss singer Dorothea Schürch. Also on display are short films, large-scale prints and paintings using onomatopoeias, as well as a slideshow of Christian Marclay’s photographs of onomatopoeias (Zoom Zoom), and the large-scale video installation that shows onomatopoeias cut from comic books and animated in a dynamic composition that corresponds to each word (Surround Sounds).

Christian Marclay was born in 1955 in San Rafael, California, and raised in Geneva, Switzerland. He studied at the Ecole Supérieure d’Art Visuel in Geneva, the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston, and the Cooper Union in New York. Marclay lives in London and New York. The artist explores the relationship between art, music, and popular culture. He is pioneer of using gramophone records and turntables as musical instruments to create sound collages. At the 2011 Venice Biennale, Marclay was recognized as the best artist in the official exhibition, winning the Golden Lion for The Clock, a 24-hour compilation of time-related scenes from movies.

Christian Marclay: Action at Aargauer Kunsthaus, Aarau. Vernissage including performance by Dorothea Schürch (Singer, Zürich), August 29, 2015.

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