boston

Michael Chandler and Brian Eno

ICA - Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston

The dimly lit gallery which housed the Michael Chandler/Brian Eno installation transported its visitors to a quiet contemplative otherworld. Eno’s ambient sound recordings permeated the gallery, setting not only the tone of the piece but the modus operandi as well. After an early, successful career as a rock musician, producing work which incorporated John Cage-inspired methodology and Dadaist poetics, Eno abandoned lyrics completely, choosing instead to work in an ambient mode which, itself compositionally ambiguous, offers no clear foreground or background. Walking through this installation, one was apt to forget the music; it was at once geospheric and atmospheric. One didn’t listen to it; one entered it.

Eno’s compositions layer track over track, not quite erasing the one before. Chandler’s paintings are similarly constructed. Each of these small, sculptural works suggests a mysterious

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