(from Wednesday, April 6, 2011)
By: Johnson Ngo
On a jammed packed evening of programming including a curated screening, a live performance, and an open screening, Icaro Zorbar’s Assisted Installations was an interesting departure from the norm– seated screenings of moving images.
During intermission, the eager audience waited patiently in the lobby while Zorbar completed installing three works throughout the Polish Combatants Hall. Artistic Director Pablo de Ocampo stated that he was interested in challenging how audiences come to view; instead of coming into the space and sitting down in front of a screen, the audience came together and participated in an intimate, collective experience.
Golden triangle consisted of four record players, where three encircled a fourth, with their needles positioned on one track. The result was a poetic canon of sound, creating a layered and rich soundscape from the original.
In Swan Lake, Zorbar began by hand cranking one of a dozen music-box mechanisms, and proceeded by removing the pins from the other previously wound mechanisms. A cacophony ofÂ confusing sounds and movement occurred, where the machines crept slowly across the table by their moving gears. There was a distinct moment of tension, where one teetered narrowly off the table, stopping just before its fall.
Situated above a tall threshold, Nobody, a tape cassette player, played itself out (quite literally). Throughout the song, the magnetic tape of the cassette slowly descended from the player and continued to unwind itself on to the ground. Tracing, unravelling, and coiling. Nobody sings, â€œnadie me ama, nadie me quiere, lloro en silencio miÂ desventuraâ€¦ [no body loves me, no body wants me, I silently cry my misfortune]â€ in this sad elegy of movement and entropy.
This â€˜concertâ€™ of Assisted Installations was understated, simple, and clever. Definitely the highlight of the evening! //
Be sure to check out Icaroâ€™s second performance tonight immediately after Live Images 5: Allison Campbell and Paul Clipson at the Music Gallery at 10:30pm!
To give you a better sense of Icaroâ€™s Assisted Installations, here are some documentation videos from his website:
Golden Triangle (2006)
Swan Lake (2006)
Icaro Zorbar is a Colombian artist who works with machines and songs, using cassette tapes, fans, and music boxes, often with his presence mingling among machines and sound takes in the form of “assisted installations.” Icaro holds an MFA from the Universidad Nacional de Colombia. He has shown at Buenos Aires’ Museum of Contemporary Art, GalerÃa Vermelho in Sao Paulo, New York’s Younger Than Jesus exhibition at the New Museum of N.Y, and the Beijing Biennale. His work is in the collection of the Cisneros Fontanals Arts Foundation, which awarded him a Grant Award in 2008. Zorbar currently lives and works in BogotÃ¡, Colombia.