UNTITLED: THOUGHTS ABOUT SOUND, MUSIC, SILENCE, AND CONFUSION at Diaz Contemporary (100 Niagara), to February 11. 416-361-2972. Rating: NNNN Rating: NNNN
Sound art tends to go unheralded under the blunt category of visual arts.
At Diaz Contemporary , Kelly Mark has organized an excellent array of audible creations. Though some video and photography are included as visual odes to audio, the most striking works rely on sound and employ curious sculptural media out of necessity.
Dave Dyment 's Top Ten is a perfect example, 10 pie-shaped slices of different LPs assembled to make a new record. The inspired, Frankensteinian audio monster that results offers the sound of static, thumping and rapid licks from each record before getting stuck.
Brilliantly, Brian Joseph Davis also breaks records in 10 Banned Albums Burned Then Played. From Stravinsky to 2 Live Crew, each record is horribly misshapen, in a charred sleeve. Incredibly, some of the tracks' blistered grooves, like the opening hook from the Kingsmen's Louie Louie, actually sound great.
On a narrow plinth, Pete Gazendam displays a pair of wireless headphones, titled There Shall Be Weeping And Gnashing Of Teeth. It's a Christian forewarning of eternal damnation. Put on the headphones and you hear Gazendam, clearly not yet saved, chomping his pearly whites repeatedly to the rhythm of Amazing Grace. Chillingly good, and it follows you around the rest of the gallery.
Cameo, by Stephanie Cormier , is one of the smartest pieces. An old telephone handset lies on a white side table. Pick it up and hear phone conversations from classic films of paranoid characters who believe their line's being tapped.
As you listen in, you take on the role of the spying listener. Unfortunately, the spell is broken by the absense of the voice of the person to whom the character is speaking, but a great idea nonetheless.
Note: you'll have to move at the speed of sound to see the show - it closes Saturday.