Buildings are urban monoliths. Cultural institutions are perceived to be even more so. Tom Mùller's WA Now exhibition MONOLITH SCORES at the Art Gallery of WA, delves into what this perceived monolith sounds like, feels like, breathes like.
Tour the exhibition online with a 3D video of the exhibition space and virtual tour.
Conceived around the hexagonal shape central to the built form, the Gallery building internally is defined by open vistas and vertical columns, and breathes in its own rhythm. By listening/resonating with (to) the building, Mùller has created a series of works that include a replica of the central column in the exhibiting space made in pulsating light that breathes six breaths per minute. Known to calm the body and the mind, the six breaths principal is used in Buddhist, yogic and Christian practices: seeing the light and its tempo, experiencing the building’s breath, we as spectators can (see) experience (this) the monolith (in a different way) as a temple.
Original 1979 stone cement tiles from the Gallery rooftop become a sculptural element in the space, like an archaeological find in the future. These tile stacks are shrines of sound, created by Mùller while he ‘played’ the building, scraping, tapping, sounding out the surfaces which form this monolith. We, the audience, also play the building by being in it, talking, walking, being still, thinking: we are its dynamic, give it rhythm, just as it forms ours.
Image credit - Photo by Tom Mùller.