“Music is liquid architecture; Architecture is frozen music” ― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

James Richards – Music for the gift review

We're stepping into the Santa Maria Ausiliatrice church, the Welsh Pavilion in Venice.
We notice immediately the site-responsive cinematic installation immersed with six-channel sound work ("Migratory Motor Complex", 2017). The degree of listening is instantly engaged by multisensory experiences of sound, memories, visual and a walk in the space.
Richards, who has a background as a percussionist, creates eclectic and esoteric aural choreography, as it segues from hypnotic impact through its collage, from broken glass, children play to the sound of breathing.
The curator Hannah Firth (director of Visual Art at Chapter, Cardiff) uses the acoustics of the building; she's eminently attentive to its surrounding, so that with each move and transition from space to space, the visitor enters another atmosphere that complements the previous one. We cannot think about sound without thinking of our movement in the space of the exhibition.
The interior-design pushes to an emotional conflict by its geometry echoing in the ancient floor tiles. The display in the main hall of an ancient chapel is consists mainly of the benches. Separated to an interlocking structure setting and without an exception – lined seats in front of the frescoes of ascensions. And yet the new setting attuned to multiply directions surrounding the speakers.
Then, around the corner, one enters a space with a video projection made in collaboration with Steve Reinke, which pulls the trigger by the series of photographs found in the private collection of Albrecht Becker.
The visuality exceeds its dimension, just as the imagination allows to extend the body by technologies. Can it turn towards a multidimensional form of experience?

“The sound figures dominantly within the construction of events underscores the move away from visual objects and their inherent stability and toward the vibratory, the performative, the humorous, the playful, the propositional, for sound undermines form, as stable referent, by always moving away from its source, while slipping past the guide of representational meaning by exceeding the symbolic”

Brandon Labelle describes sound as an artistic medium which appears in different modes of installations. The sound presented travels from its source beyond its location and creates an extra implication. Labelle is suggesting us to consider what consequence does sound art have for notions of spatiality and site-specific practice? I believe there's an intrinsic value in the existence of sound within this exhibition.
After watching the video in the dark room and the series of photographs we need to turn back through the entrance with listening again to the six-channel installation. Another chance to seat, lay down and reflect upon what we can actually hear.
Between the different realms that one has to apply during the trajectory through the show, he can also distillate its experience and therefore aiming to a state of protracted listening of this exhibition. By simply reading the exhibition as "listening" we can radicalize the experience of analyzing in praxis its context or as an active revision to intellectualize plasticity.
Through the kaleidoscope of our ears, anything else we can ask is: "What weakens the flesh is the flesh itself"?