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The Invisible Show

Participating artists: Vito Acconci; Joseph Beuys; James Lee Byars; Janet Cardiff & George Bures Miller; Luisa Cunha; Ceal Floyer; Rodney Graham; Joan Jonas; On Kawara; Bruce Nauman; Luigi Russolo; Juliao Sarmento; Kurt Schwitters; Santiago Sierra and Michael Snow.

The Invisible Show displays key works by 20th century prominent artists who worked with sound. Some works are actually a footprint of a straightforward performance (Beuys, Acconci), and others of a transitive performance (Kawara). However, most of the pieces involving an artist’s voice are meant to trigger in the viewer-listener a feeling of closeness and uniqueness that is nonexistent in more conventional artistic practices of painting and sculpture.The Invisible Show was produced originally by MARCO, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Vigo, and the Centro Jose Guerrero in Granada, both in Spain. Its re-creation at the CCA has materialized thanks to its curator, Delfim Sardo, MARCO’s director Iñaki Marinez Antelo, and Agar Ledo who readily shared with us the experience she gained in producing the Spanish leg. The difference between visual artists and musicians using recorded sound lies in the former’s endeavor to directly invoke visual qualities and associative feelings in the viewer’s mind. This is not the Blind Hearing, hailed in 1936 by Rudolph Arnheim, who could hardly contain his excitement about the perceptual possibilities of wireless transmissions. On the contrary, visual artists mostly make use of sound – and specifically their own voice – in order to create an evocative experience that is definitely visual. In this respect, the exhibition’s title is a pun rather than a faithful description of its essence, challenging the spectator’s preconception of the way a conventional show should “look.” Those who listen will see …

Curators: Delfim Sardo and Sergio Edelsztein

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