Sans Song: curated by CCST candidate Jenny Walton

Opening reception: 26th April 2012 at 7pm. Exhibition runs to June 2, 2012.

Introducing new works by Nathan McNinch and by Joshua Bonnetta, in conjunction with two pieces released in 1976 by Joan La Barbara, the artworks in Sans Song investigate the tools and instruments of vocal sonic production and reception.

In 1976, during a time when she was the leading practitioner of ‘extended vocal techniques’, American singer, Joan La Barbara released the album Voice is the Original Instrument. Sans Song will feature two of the tracks from this important work: Circular Song and Voice Piece: One-Note Internal Resonance Investigation. These works elaborate a on physical and dynamic space by dealing with breath and various articulations of one single pitch respectively.

Nathan McNinch is a Montreal based artist living in Vancouver while completing his Master of Fine Arts degree at the University of British Columbia. His kinetic, installation and sonic sculptures have been described as “explorations of personal memories conceived as poetic mechanical structures”. i remember how frail your hands had become / and the quiet of waiting (2012) features McNinch’s typically “crude” constructions using every-day materials, the strange subtlety and gracefulness of which are epitomised in this new work.

Joshua Bonnetta works with film, video and sound in various modes of exhibition, performance and installation. His work deals with memory, sound and technologies in a manner that surpasses nostalgia and implicates multiple histories of the work simultaneously. Evensong (2012) is a hushed, vibrating work that uses recordings contoured and filtered by the structure and material of architecture. The resonant qualities and reverberations created in a massive architectural space include vocal iterations and song that, in Evensong, have lost discernibility.

This combination of vocal works from the 1970s with contemporary sonic and kinetic sculptures allows for an investigation of form and physicality through the exploration of resonance, breath and corporeality in vocal production and reception.

Sans Song is curated by Jenny Walton, a candidate to the Masters Degree in Critical and Curatorial Studies at The University of British Columbia.

This exhibition will feature in the 2012 Vancouver Gallery Hop on Saturday April 28th, including a talk with the curator at Western Front at 3:30pm.

Photo: Top image – Joshua Bonnetta, Evensong, 2012, sculptural sound installation.
Middle image – Nathan McNinch, i remember how frail your hands had become and the quiet of waiting, 2012, kinetic sculpture.
Bottom image – Joan LaBarbara, Voice is the Original Instrument, 1976, vinyl LP.

Supported by: Killy Foundation; Audain Endowment for Curatorial Studies through the UBC Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory; Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery.

The Western Front gratefully acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the BC Arts Council through the Government of British Columbia, the City of Vancouver, our members and volunteers. The Western Front is a member of the Pacific Association of Artist-Run Centres (PAARC) and the Independent Media Arts Alliance (IMAA).