BarbicanArtGallery presents the premiere of a new work, Of the Length of your Arms Unfolded, specially created for this event by acclaimed artist Athanasios Argianas. The installation doubles as a score for a sung performance.
Of the Length of Your Arms Unfolded The sculpture is a structure made from brass and steel. A long thin strip of brass drapes on a forest of thin steel supports; curved by its own weight as if made of something soft like silk ribbon. This long ribbon has text etched upon it:
“The length of a strand of your hair, the length of a shoelace … of the width of a coral snake curled up.”
One material behaving like another – transformation, translation and an open notion of ‘score’, are ideas that run through Argianas’s practice. Here the strip of ordered, edited text, succumbs to the random / chaotic manipulation of the material it is etched on, folding, turning and in effect re-editing the text’s form and acting as a spatial score for the audience and performers to move around.
The accompanying performance is performed by three people with different voice registers, moving independently around the work. This gives the impression of a traditional canon, as the text repeats and overlaps. The difference in the performer's voice registers will add to a sculptural view of the sound, and rendering the fusion between the sculpture and vocal performance as an harmonic construct.
Using weight and object to describe musical compositions is a recurring theme in Argianas’s work. This project is a development of previous ‘Song Machine’ projects in which sculptural objects carry text and form open proposals for the composition of songs. This is the first time that the proposed function of a Song machine will be realised: used as a score and, live, translated into a piece of music. The piece will be repeated several times throughout the evening.
Athanasios Argianas was born in Athens, Greece and currently lives and works in London. He is represented by The Breeder, Athens & Max Wigram Gallery, London, and has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions internationally, including at: Arnolfini, (Bristol), Dundee Contemporary Arts (Dundee), Art Now Live, Tate Britain and The Serpentine Gallery Pavilion (London). He was selected to participate in 'Heaven' the 2nd Athens Biennial (Athens), and was shortlisted for the 2009 Deste Prize.