Beta Exhibition

Thursday, March 13th, 2003 | Art, Marjorie Wood Gallery

I’m toying with the idea of creating an online sound installation. I’m not experienced at embedding sound files in html documents, so if anyone wishes to check out my first draft, without the actual sounds that I’m going to use, follow this link. Any input would be appreciated. And yes, I’ve changed the gender of the title–a conceptual decision that I may toss out.

Anyway, here’s a description of the installation as proposed a few years ago:

I wish to create a charged space in which the viewer may investigate his/her reactions to an overwhelming masculine presence. The space may be reminiscent of a prison environment – a common setting in gay pornography. A French slang term for orgasm, “petite mort,” is translated literally to mean “little death.” The installation suggests a multiplicity of interpretations: a record of the lives wasted in jail cells; the last exhausted breaths of men waiting to die; the heavy breathing of a rapist; or the sounds of men having orgasms.

Masculinity here is reduced to a basic component. There are no signifiers of gender other than the hint of a voice behind the breath – no clothes, no genitals, no bodies; no representations or stereotypes. I wish to investigate the images of masculinity that are embedded in our culture and unconscious life. The only image the viewer will experience is the one which is created in the mind after hearing the breathing and reading the title.

In all of my work, I try to evoke a response that is not verbal, but visceral. I believe that we all share a language of images and sounds that call forth specific meanings in each of us. It is this language that I use to solicit a response.

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