Samson Young: Songs for Disaster Relief. Collateral Event of the 57th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia.
Co-presented by M+ and HKADC, Samson Young’s exhibition “Songs for Disaster Relief” features a series of newly commissioned site specific works.
Samson Young: Songs for Disaster Relief. Campo della Tana, Castello, Venice (Italy). May 10, 2017.
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Excerpts from the press release:
For the 57th edition of the Venice Biennale, Young will create a new body of work that attempts to reframe the popularity of “charity singles” —purpose-made recordings for charitable causes, featuring super-group artists—as historic “events” and a culturally transformative moments in time. Charity singles were most widespread in the 1980s, and coincided with the rise of neo-liberalist aspirations and the globalisation of the popular music industry. However questions were raised about their appropriateness when ‘We Are the World’ was remade in recent year. A perceived strangeness in the setup left a mark on Samson’s consciousness, setting him on a journey of rediscovery that informs this exhibition.
Through a deliberate repurposing and creative misreading of such iconic songs as ‘We Are the World’ and ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas’, the artist will generate a series of drawings, objects, video, spatial sound installations and site specific works that together constitute a unique audio-visual experience. The exhibition is conceived as an album unfolding in space to be experienced in person.
Formal trained in classical music composition, Young’s interests range from the politics behind classical Western music writing systems to possible relations between sounds and warfare (sound as a weapon, or explosions as vehicles of overwhelming information), to artefacts that can unite or separate communities and individuals. Despite the interdisciplinary nature of his output, Young retains a strong commitment to the avant-garde compositional traditions of aleatoric music, musique concrète and graphic notation. He is particularly interested in exploring the social, philosophical, and political questions that these compositional techniques and procedures pose in a cross-cultural context.