We’ve always been all ears when it comes to Christian Marclay. The Swiss-American artist has always brought together sound, popular culture, and visuals in the most remarkable of ways and for his latest solo exhibition, recently opened at Aargauer Kunsthaus in Switzerland, Marclay has turned his attention to the notion of onomatopoeia.
Echoing Marclay’s most recent work, ‘Action’ explores the onomatopoetic potential of written words through graphic collages. The exhibition also features his immersive video animation Surrounds Sounds (2014-15) alongside early and lesser-known works, as well as a number of new paintings and works on paper.
The one-time Wallpaper* guest editor (see W*151) has also paired up with Swiss firm Hächler Fuhrimann Architekten to give a modern spin to a traditional Japanese house. The wooden, pavilion-like structure houses Marclay’s Hanging Scrolls (2011) – presented in Europe for the first time – and will also host a series of talks, musical performances and traditional tea ceremonies through the duration of the exhibition.
What’s curiously absent from most of this show, however, is sound itself. In contrast to his earlier works, the ones presented at Aargauer Kunsthaus evoke sound within the viewer, prompting us to ‘hear with our eyes’. We’re inclined to answer Marclay’s call for action.