“The beginning of a remake of an earlier work [Soundings, 1979] in which I wanted to extend the reflexivity of each text in relation to the interaction between different physical substances—in this case, sand—and the speaker cone. A loudspeaker fills the screen and I begin to speak, referring to the speaker itself. This is followed by more declarations of what I am doing, ‘…a hand enters the picture….’ A hand filled with sand enters the picture and slowly releases it into the loudspeaker’s cone. Every nuance of speech vibrates the speaker’s cone (or membrane), bouncing the grains of sand into the air. The more I speak about what is happening, the more it changes—or feeds back into—the movement and patterns of the sand. At times the grain of the voice seemingly merges with what is experienced as ‘sand.’ The hand allows more and more sand to trickle onto the loudspeaker until the cone is no longer visible. The timbre of the voice crackles and is radically muffled. When the speaker is completely buried, the voice sounds distant but remarkably clear.” – Gary Hill
Blind Spot, 2003
A short encounter between the artist and a man on a North African street is slowed down, forcing the viewer into an intimate relationship with the subject and the shifting emotion seen in his face.
Inasmuch As It Is Always Already Taking Place, 1990
The components of the body displayed on sixteen monitors in this video installation are without any apparent distinction. They belong, however, to the artist. The arrangement of images on the monitors, which are of various sizes and stripped of their casings, does not follow the organization of the human body. Representations of Hill’s ear and foot lie side by side; tucked modestly behind them is an image of his groin. Within this unassuming configuration, each raster invites meditation. For example, on one screen a thumb plays with the corner of a book page. By concentrating the viewer’s attention on such a rudimentary activity, Hill causes the movement to take on the significance of a much larger event. The ceaselessness of the activity is an illusion in that each component exists only as a seamless loop lasting five to thirty seconds.
Long, nervelike black wires attached to each monitor are bundled together like spinal cords. They snake along a shelf and disappear from view at the back of a recess. This electrical network emphasizes the presentation of body parts as extremities without a unifying torso. The hidden core to which the components of the body are attached serves as a metaphor for a human being’s invisible, existential center: the soul. Reinforcing the living quality of the installation is its textured composition of ambient sound. https://www.moma.org
ADONDE (where) is a five channel projection piece exhibited at Mount Saint Mary’s University Jose Drudis-Biada Art Gallery in 2017. This work reached across a 36 foot wall and bent around to both side walls creating a work approximately seventy feet long by eight feet in height. Video “marks” appear, vanish and repeat. Geometrical yet organic, each “mark” is filled with movement and light to create visual tapestries accompanied by choral sounds.
oan Jonas. Reanimation, 2010/2012/2013; installation view, Joan Jonas: From Away, 2016, at DHC/ART. Courtesy of the Artist. © DHC/ART Foundation for Contemporary Art. Photo: Richard-Max Tremblay.