Australian-born artist Benjamin Barretto opens his solo show 'Play Chandelier' in Los Angeles tonight at 6817. The exhibition takes its title from a Siri command the artist heard yelled breathlessly into an iPhone from the top of Runyon Canyon. Barretto's prominent sound sculpture - which shares the exhibition's title, encompasses fans, suspended electric guitars, keyboards and iPhones with shattered screens, with wooden beams, plastic sheeting and selfie-sticks lending the carefully balanced instruments some stability. The result is a circuitous route for a billiard ball and a looping sound work which essentially 'plays itself'.
A mirror-ball motor rotates a 16-foot, crudely constructed screw-lift, raising a billiard ball to begin its course along a series of slanting planes. It travels at varying speeds along precarious assemblages of found objects and sculptural elements, making contact with musical instruments in the process. Pedistal fans become composers, their constant oscillation is experienced audibly in gentle cyclical patterns. A projection of two iPhones videoing each other in 'selfie mode' illuminates the corner of the room with a pulsing, rhythmic glow. Each component of the work generates its own feedback loop within the overall arrangement...
The sound, sculpture, and video components slowly shift in and out of synch with each other, generating an ongoing musical composition with a slow-breathing life of its own. Barretto assembles his materials with a performative theatricality, invoking meditative repetition out of tenuous objects. It's almost as if he is developing a methodology for living - the functionality of which is hanging by a thread, literally.
Opening Friday April 24, 2015, 6-9pm.
6817 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles CA 90038