Presenting video, installation, scripts, and audio works, this group exhibition foregrounds the voice as a material in contemporary art—in particular, a queered voice. Manipulated, mediated, or otherwise affected, the voice present in these works signals a disengagement with both gender norms and everyday conventions of communication. Casting light on what it means to “sound strange,” they insist that the viewer become a listener too, engaging with art works that are performative and narrative in nature. Throughout, the voice takes on a complex of guises and strategies: it can mask the speaker, tweak identity, obscure gender, and test points of view, as well as amplify and nullify emotions. It may create a disembodied or virtual presence, filling the listening space with avatars and mediums, the very presence of which signal a shift in the nature of reality itself. The queer voice opens up a queer space where a heightened sense of artifice and affect signal a new norm.
Conducted more as an investigation than a survey, this exhibition focuses on the work of eight artists across three generations. Starting in the 1960s, when new technology first popularized audio tape recording, and moving into the present, when the strangeness of hearing one’s own voice is increasingly part of internet and digital culture, it draws out a cross-generational conversation around queer identity and non-oppositional representations of gender, in which male and female attributes coexist in a subjective voice.
Laurie AndersonHarry DodgeSharon HayesStanya KahnJohn KellyKalup LinzyJack SmithRyan TrecartinAndy Warhol