PATRICK MIKHAIL GALLERY PRESENTS “NORWEGIAN WOOD” AN EXHIBITION OF NEW WORK BY CONCEPTUAL ARTIST ADRIAN GÖLLNER
APRIL 3 TO MAY 18, 2013
FRIDAY, APRIL 5, 2013
5:30 P.M. TO 9 P.M.
SUNDAY, APRIL 21, 2013
PATRICK MIKHAIL GALLERY is pleased to present NORWEGIAN WOOD, an exhibition of new work by contemporary conceptual artist ADRIAN GÖLLNER. The exhibition embraces the physicality of analogue recording techniques and employs them in the creation of drawings and objects that are at once tangible and on the edge of our perceptual abilities.
The vinyl record album is a remarkably un-evolved technology. Edison's first sound recording in 1877 was created by drawing a needle across the surface of a rotating wax cylinder. By focusing the sound wave on the needle, the shape of the sound was literally scratched into the surface. Although recording techniques improved over the next century, the grooves of a record album remain, simply, a physical echo of the original performance. The exhibition is presented in three components: the Norwegian Wood Drawings, Vase Recordings, and Harmonograph Drawings.
With the Norwegian Wood Drawings, Göllner attempts to divine the shape of John Lennon's loneliness from the grooves of his old Beatles albums. A brilliant but troubled songwriter, rejection and self-loathing underlie many of Lennon's most enduring songs: “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away,” “I'm a Loser,” and “Norwegian Wood.” The drawing process transfers the minute variations of the vinyl grooves into a tightly wound spiral that, like a mandala, focuses our thoughts about Lennon, his music, and his loneliness.
The Vase Recordings reverses the process. Inspired by speculative archaeology that suggested ancient pottery contains sounds that can be played back like a vinyl record, Göllner has scribed the sides of pottery with sound using an apparatus similar to Edison’s first recording device. The resulting Vase Recordings are curious future artifacts in which their potential for sound competes poetically with the physicality of the object.
The Harmongraph Drawings do not record sound, but a loss of energy. Popular in the 1920-30s as a parlour activity, a harmonograph generates spirograph-like drawings using inertia and entropy. A drawing plane sits atop a universal motion gimbal, which has been set in motion and very slowly loses its momentum. A pen rests on top of the plane and draws a continuous, concentric line as the plane swirls and drifts to a stop. Each drawing is a dense, etching-like composition, which transcend the multiple chance elements of its creation to become its own odd little galaxy.
Common to all the artworks in the exhibition is a single drawn line and circular motion. Each piece has its own internal logic and momentum that dictates the beginning and end of the process and allows the piece to be determined in a single, uninterrupted, and uncontrived gesture.
Adrian Göllner’s practice is increasingly conceptual. Known for his site-specific installations and chameleon-like adaptation to the environments in which he exhibits, Göllner combines graphing techniques and references to Modernism in artworks that critique our consumer culture and play with the conventions of abstraction. Mr. Göllner’s work has been shown in solo and group exhibitions throughout Canada, the United States, Europe, and New Zealand. He is the recipient of numerous grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, and the City of Ottawa. His work can be found in a number of collections, including the Anglo-Irish Bank, the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Canadian War Museum, Ottawa Art Gallery, City of Ottawa art collection, Carleton University Art Gallery, National Gallery of Canada Library, Art Gallery of Ontario Library, and Agnes Etherington Art Centre. Reviews and critical discourses of his work have appeared in Canadian Art, Border Crossings, C Magazine, Parachute, Saturday Night, and the Sunday Times. In 2007, he was awarded the prestigious Canada Council for the Arts Residency in Port of Spain, Trinidad. Mr. Göllner received a B.F.A. from Queen's University in 1987 and is a member of the Royal Canadian Academy.