Los Angeles

John Williams

sister

Among the highlights of John Williams’s rockin’, twirlin’, multimedia debut solo show at Dan Bernier in Los Angeles in 1999 were hip versions of the magic lantern: harlequin-patterned combines of variegated gels and supports, placed on old phonograph albums rotating on turntables, projecting flickering patterns of light, like raucous butterflies, across the gallery, with wonky sounds wailing as the needle dropped. Aiming for sonic and visual overload, Williams would spin a number of his “records” simultaneously on different levels of his jerry-built “amp” stacks. A first glance at Sister’s white walls, disturbed only by a radiant wedge-shaped portal and a circular opening housing a bronze disc, seemed to indicate that Williams had abandoned his wild audio-pyrotechnics in favor of clerical austerity, until it became clear that they had been internalized—immured.

Bell Tower, 2005, transmuted

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