Locust Projects presents Waterbirds: Migratory Sound Flow, by Mexican artist Tania Candiani. Interested in language, sound and the afterlife of obsolete technologies, Tania Candiani has created devices that translate images, shapes, and words into sounds and music by repurposing looms, keyboards, typewriters and other old mechanical devices to create wind, chord or percussion instruments. She sees these objects as interfaces between “the soul of the machine” and other types of sensibilities, including human, animal and non-human, and often references ancestral knowledge and stories.
For the artist, these devices lie somewhere between science fiction, Victorian steam technology and the latest artificial intelligence and word processing technologies.
Waterbirds: Migratory Sound Flow, originally commissioned for the 23rd Biennale of Sydney and curated by José Roca, is a hanging “river” made with tree branches collected from a riverbank in Mexico many of which are also native to South Florida.
Referred to by the artist as a “great blood system,” the path of these birds connects hundreds of bodies of water mapped in an installation that consists of a network of sound, air, and water. The system uses handmade reproductions of traditional pre-hispanic aerophones (clay ocarinas, shells, wooden flutes) and, at Locust Projects, includes field recordings of water birds in South Florida to create a continuous and changing chant.
The massive, suspended organic shape will be reimagined to respond to Locust Projects' architecture and reflect the waterways and migratory water bird species of the Everglades and South Florida.
"Candiani's Waterbirds installation poetically combines nature and technology to reflect on migration, language and intertwined ecosystems through birdsong,” said Lorie Mertes, Executive Director of Locust Projects. “With South Florida, particularly the Everglades, serving as a major stopover on the Atlantic Flyway for migratory birds, Tania’s work is poignantly relevant here and provides a massive visual of the birds' path.” The project explores the idea of traveling territories through sound and crossing living bodies of water linked by the movement of birds: watercourses that resemble a blood or neuronal system to metaphorically reflect on migration, bird language and ecosystems.
See additional work by Tania Candiani featured in To Weave the Sky: Textile Abstractions from the Jorge M. Pérez Collection at El Espacio 23 one view November 2023 - October 2024.
Tania’s work will also be on view at Art Basel represented by Galeria Vermelho and Instituto De Visión.
Tania Candiani: Waterbirds: Migratory Sound Flow at Locust Projects is presented with major support provided by The Jorge M. Pérez Family Foundation.
Waterways was originally commissioned by the XXIII Biennale of Sydney and shown at Cuttaway, Bangaroo, Sydney Australia from March-Jun 2022 and at Rivermouth, Monash University Museum of Art from Feb-April 2023. Locust Projects’ presentation is the U.S. premiere.
Technology development: Interspecifics. Wooden structure: Juan Rosas. Clay instruments: Gilberto Chávez/Marakame. Commissioned by the Biennale of Sydney with generous assistance from Monash University Museum of Art/MUMA.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Tania Candiani lives and works in Mexico City. One of the central interests of her work is the expanded idea of translation, extended to the experimental field through the use of visual, sound, textual and symbolic languages. Many of her projects consider the universe of sound and the politics of listening as a tool capable of expanding and transforming perceptions, both human and non-human. A fundamental part of her work is related to feminist policies and practices, understanding them as a communal, affective and ritual experience. Its production usually involves interdisciplinary work groups in various fields, consolidating intersections between art, literature, music, architecture, science, and labor, with an emphasis on ancestral knowledge and techniques, technologies, and their history in the production of knowledge.
She is a member of the National System of Art Creators of Mexico; she is a recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship in the Arts, the Smithsonian Institution Research Grant for Artists; she is an artist-in-residence at the Arts at CERN program, in Geneva, Switzerland. In 2015 she represented Mexico at the 56th Venice Biennale. Her work has been exhibited internationally in museums, institutions and independent spaces, and is part of important public and private collections.
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