Tonight at the Guggenheim the members of Animal Collective, along with video artist Danny Perez, took over the entire museum from head to toe. Obviously there was more than a little interest, as a last minute afternoon show was added, and the evening show was packed to capacity. And with good reason: Animal Collective have been pushing artistic boundaries for years now, and this latest site specific installation promised to be another compelling instance of their creative craftsmanship.
Thursday, March 4, 2010
To start with, it's important to note that the event was not a concert. Rather, it was a site specific installation that included audio, projected video, and sculpture. While there were times when the audio sounded slightly as though it could have been from Animal Collective's most experimental moments, for the most part it was a largely ambient and generative audio experience. Speakers were placed throughout the space, and mixed to give the feeling of a transient, enveloping soundscape.
The sculptures were contained on the first floor rotunda, and were host to three costumed players, who we're guessing were the members of Animal Collective. The sculpture included mounds with lit reflective "eyes", and a central platform of inverted "icicles". The three players, looking like a bizarre cross between Bib Fortuna and a hooded organization we'd rather not name, stood on top of the mounds and made slight movements throughout the evening. At the rear of the rotunda was a larger mound that served as a recipient for projected images.
And those images are what made up the remainder of the installation. Not just on the rotunda mound, mind you, but spanning the entire museum from floor to ceiling. The projections ranged in the clarity of their pattern, but generally consisted of abstract colors and patterns that played well over the space and its occupants. In fact, one of the most fascinating parts of the evening was gradually taking note of how the light played off of the Guggenheim's unique architecture.
While we're not exactly sure if tonight's event had a particular artistic bent, we will say this: it worked. The acoustics were fantastic, the video yielded a unique and beautiful interpretation of the museum's architecture, and the audio/sculpture combination allowed for the interpretation of the bizarre for which Animal Collective has become known. What's more, the event attracted an incredibly diverse crowd, with attendees ranging from couples in cocktail-wear to kids in full on face paint. Suffice it to say, such artistic endeavors by rock bands are not only something we highly approve of, but something we'd like to see a lot more of in the future. Well played.
Many more pictures at the HAD Archive