Spending an extended time with a piece like I did with the James Richards in Venice, I built up quite a personal connection to it which I hadn’t really received from other works before. Usually I’d have that kind of connection from a piece that really struck a chord with me, and I don’t know if the exhibition as a whole necessarily had that instantaneous reaction in me. I think the sound piece definitely did, but not so much the film. The duration with which I was with it definitely had an effect on my connection to it.
For a piece you spent so much time with to then be in a different space, I was naturally curious to experience it in a wholly different context. I don’t really think the film piece was changed that much – the main elements were the same, the set up etc. The sound piece however was completely different. The entire set up was completely opposite to the Chapel: the room was set like a stage with spotlights and the walls were black. There was no visual stimulus really, and this did enhance my listening experience somewhat, and the sounds were a lot louder so the physical nature was different. I don’t think it worked as well in that space however – it was more theatrical and showy, and I don’t think that was the character of the piece. In the chapel it was sacred almost, a multi-sensory experience – what I saw in the chapel affected how I heard the sound. And just because it’s a sound piece, doesn’t mean you should rob all of your other senses.
I felt it was a lot more powerful in Venice. Also in Chapter only people who seek it or would naturally go to an art gallery would experience the piece. In Venice people would hear it as they went past and it would lure them it, and I think this was one of the best things about it – it engaged with an audience that wouldn’t necessarily ‘like’ art.
It really emphasised to me how important the location of work is.