Massimo Bartolini pays tribute to the composer Glenn Gloud in the Marco Museum of Vigo

HUM. Sonority through space
Vigo - MAY 07, 2013
Within contemporary art there can be many disputes when considering an exhibition as art or not. Visiting the new exhibition, HUM, that the Marco Museum of Vigo presents, you can ask yourself, this what I am observing truly art? This exhibition is not framed within what would be suitable for all audiences. It is not a show that by just visiting it the viewer obtains a satisfactory visual and mental reward. HUM is not this type of art. 

In order to comprehend to the last detail what Massimo Bartolini wants to shows us with these installations, need to have made a preliminary study. In HUM we submerge ourselves in the universe of Glenn Gould, unknown to many, who was a enigmatic and revolutionary figure in the musical context that stood out for his way of adapting Bach's variations of Goldberg and was a pioneer in the introduction of digital forms in the interpreters of classical music. The good thing about this type of exhibitions like this one is that the viewer discovers artists that without them, perhaps, he never would have known of their existence.
HUM. Sonority through space
Glenn Gloud
We begin our brief tour (brief because the exhibition only has two artístic spaces) entering the first installation, an empty room where the only thing that calls our attention is the wall's decoration, each one painted with a different color, and placed on the floor, a small object against the wall. As we approach it, we see a small turntable accompanied by two speakers, through which the humming sounds that Glenn Gould made while he played Bach's Goldberg Variations. 

Jean-Yves Bosseur comented in his book Musique et Arts Plastiques that "in the installations sound actively contributes to defining a place, reabsorbing dualistic opposition between time and space. One of the main properties of sound in space sculpting."
HUM. Sonority through space
Bartolini sculpts this space in which the viewer is submerged through sounds and color, also transmitting the concept of synesthesia. He pretends that we associate each with a color humming, recreating the notion and feeling of synesthesia to its minimum expression.

Following our tour of the next installation, the first thing we discovered is a microphone scraping a wall of sound from which emerges the sound of a poem sung in Inuit language that reaches the viewer with the support of a speaker, empty chairs and a map indicating the North.
HUM. Sonority through space
HUM, The Idea of North

Al observar esta instalación te viene a la mente la famosa obra de John Cage4’33” en la que el prestigioso músico se atrevió ya en los años 50 a mostrar una partitura de música en blanco en el Maverick Concert Hall, donde apareció la figura del concertista David Tudor, se sentó delante del piano, cerró la tapa de éste y activó un cronó hizo el silencio. Transcurridos 4’33 minutos, Tudor abre el piano, detiene su cronómetro y se pone en pie. La pieza ha terminado. En el manifiesto El futuro de la música: Credo escrito por John Cage encontramos la respuesta a esta pieza musical: “dondequiera que estemos lo que escuchamos es, en su mayor parte, ruido. Cuando lo ignoramos, nos perturba. Cuando lo escuchamos, lo encontramos fascinante. (…) Queremos capturar y controlar esos sonidos, para usarlos no como efectos de sonidos, sino como instrumentos musicales."

En esta instalación no encontramos simple y llanamente silencio pero si nos transmite una idea de vacío. En este espacio se nos está hablando de la Idea del Norte de Glenn Gould que se centraba en el concepto filosófico del vacío, la ausencia, la soledad, el silencio... Al encontrarnos un micrófono sin disponer de un interlocutor que recite el poema e instalar un aforo vacío en el que dicho poema resuena con un deje de eco gutural, Bartolini intenta transmitir y reforzar esa idea de aislamiento, vacío y soledad de la que hablaba Gould en su programa radiofónico The Idea of North.

Massimo Bartolini. HUM. Marco Museum of Vigo. Until May 19. 

Amanda Alcalde

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