Making Music Amid Anthony McCall’s Light Projections

A series of performances accompanying Pioneer Works’s Anthony McCall exhibition will find musicians soloing alongside his dramatic, dancing light art.

Anthony McCall, <em>Solid Light Films and Other Works</em> (1971–2014), installation view Eye Film Museum, Amsterdam 2014 (photo by Hans Wilschut, courtesy Pioneer Works)
Anthony McCall, installation view, Hangar Bicocca, Milan, 2009 (photo by Giulio Buono)

Anyone who’s ever experienced one of Anthony McCall’s dynamic light works knows the incredible theatrical power with which they can imbue a space. Red Hook’s already very theatrical art nonprofit Pioneer Works, which is currently hosting McCall’s first institutional exhibition in New York City, is harnessing that power with a series of musical performances to be staged in its main hall beginning on Friday, January 19. Conceived as simultaneous solos, rather than an ensemble, the performances will unfold throughout Pioneer Works’s soaring main hall, with four soloists — in Friday’s event, a DJ, an electric guitar player, a vibraphone player, and a singer-violinist — each playing alongside one of McCall’s glowing, dynamic light works.

Organized by David Grubs (who will be playing the electric guitar on Friday), the performances will undoubtedly heighten the innate musicality of McCall’s pieces, whose fluid forms and movements evoke the shifting pitches and tones of music. The performers will play at equal distances from one another and “a modest volume,” per Pioneer Works, so that attendees can move through the space and listen to specific musicians, or step back and take in two or more sounds simultaneously. The resulting choreography of light and sound will figuratively and actually echo and amplify McCall’s ephemeral, dancing installations.

Installation view, <em>Solid Light Works: Anthony McCall</em>, curated by Gabriel Florenz, at Pioneer Works, New York, January 12–March 11, 2018 (© Dan Bradica)
Installation view, Solid Light Works: Anthony McCall, curated by Gabriel Florenz, at Pioneer Works, New York, January 12–March 11, 2018 (© Dan Bradica)

When: Friday, January 19; Friday, February 2; Friday, February 16; Friday, March 2 ($15)
Where: Pioneer Works (159 Pioneer Street, Red Hook, Brooklyn)

More info at Pioneer Works.

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