TO HEAR IS TO SEE at YYZ Artists' Outlet (401 Richmond West, suite 140) to March 26. 416-598-4546. Rating: NNNN Rating: NNNN
Usually we let our eyes guide us as we walk around a gallery. But the radio art accompanying the visual work in To Hear Is To See at YYZ asks more from visitors. Expect to listen with your eyes and see with your ears.
Originally shown in Colombia in 1996, the show organized by Gue Schmidt has grown from 36 to more than 90 contributing artists.
Small black-and-white photos line the gallery walls as a unique visual expression of their diverse audio transmissions. A pixilated face goes with a clip of rhythmless electronica, for example. The sounds heard on a subway platform matches a photo of a subway car.
Previously, the audio clips in this show have been broadcast to people over local radio waves.
Since no such transmitter could be found in Toronto, a computer sits in the middle of the gallery inviting visitors to play DJ and choose the soundtrack du jour. Hearing the broadcasts in my home or car would have been a nice way to experience the world, but choosing the tracks for everyone else is also gratifying.
Take note if your impressions alter as you match the audio with the pictures; you may find yourself surprised at the changes in your preferences.
In the other room, To Vincent, With Love offers a sound/visual exploration of a different sort, melancholy music playing over four looped video clips from the film Buffalo '66.
You won't have seen this dramatic screening before, as Jillian McDonald inserts herself into the reel and changes the mood and plot. Now the movie conveys a thick tension between actor Vincent Gallo and herself. Perhaps it would be more easily resolved if he noticed her brief smirk at the camera, but sadly, he doesn't even glance her way.