new-york

Trisha Donnelly

Casey Kaplan

Comb-like. This is the word Trisha Donnelly uses to describe (to divine?) the process through which sound (a Russian Men’s Chorus) becomes sculpture. It appears in the typewritten text “The Vortex Notes,” 2002, a guide of sorts related to her edifying 2003 demonstration The Vortex: TAKE THE HIGHEST MALE VOICE. LISTEN AND TRACK IT THROUGHOUT THE RECORDING. THE SOUND CAN COMPRESS LIKE A PHOTOGRAPH. WHILE LISTENING, FLATTEN IT INTO AN OBJECT. IT’S A COMB-LIKE STRUCTURE. Attempting, successfully, to evoke an experience of synesthesia via a visual eddy in the mind’s eye, the short text collapses easy distinctions among media, producers, and audiences––a gambit central to Donnelly’s practice. In this exhibition, there were four stone monoliths on view: One had a small, carved biomorphic relief; the others featured jagged, toothed, or feathered comb-like forms.

Cut by hand and with a rotary blade,

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