Josée Bienvenu Gallery is pleased to present Terrain, a site-specific sound installation by Julianne Swartz, originally commissioned by the Indianapolis Museum of Art in 2008. Concurrently, the Jewish Museum in New York is presenting The Sound of Light, a site-specific sound project also commissioned from the artist, on view through March 15.
Julianne Swartz creates memorable environments by transforming the way we experience a place, subverting traditional conceptions of space. She uses sound, movement and precarious technology to articulate architectures of frailty.
In Terrain, twelve channels of sound move through a colorful web of wire and speakers to create a dynamic sonic landscape. Utilizing over a hundred speakers to emit hums and hushed whispers, the piece emanates sounds reminiscent of stormy weather, blowing leaves or a gentle wind. To make the soundtrack for the piece, Julianne Swartz asked thirty-eight volunteers to envision a loved one, and to speak into a microphone as though whispering in that person’s ear. Swartz has woven these intimacies so that visitors will hear abstract affective tones, interspersed with discernible moments of conversation. The layering and merging of disparate voices and languages constructs an aural topography of human sentiment.
Julianne Swartz received her MFA from Bard College in 2002 and currently lives and works in Stone Ridge, NY. Her work has been widely exhibited throughout the United States and Europe. Selected exhibitions include: Terrain at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, IN (2008); Voice & Void at The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, CT (2008); Hope at Josée Bienvenu Gallery, NY (2007); Liverpool Biennial at the Tate Liverpool, UK (2006); Counter Culture at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, NY (2004); 2004 Biennial Exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art, NY; Breaking Away at P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center, Queens, NY (2003). She is the recipient of a 2008 Painters and Sculptors Award from the Joan Mitchell Foundation.