Brian Eno opens 'Lightforms / Soundforms' exhibition in Barcelona
The musician and visual artist’s show includes a music installation in the Catalan capital's airport
Barcelona.- The musician, composer, visual artist, and music producer Brian Eno has filled three floors with sound and light at the Arts Santa Mònica in Barcelona with his exhibition 'Lightforms / Soundforms', which opened this Wednesday, June 14 and can be visited until October 1. Eno created the new piece 'New Space Music', a music installation conceived to be listened to specifically in the Max Cahner atrium. He also presented his latest album ‘Reflection' within a music installation in the Barcelona airport. 'Lightforms / Soundforms' presents a selection of his recent work as an artist and musician. The exhibition explains his working method through his notes, diagrams, and drawings. In addition, the exhibit includes the iconic '77 Million Paintings', a generative audiovisual installation. Eno said that with his work, the light and sound get closer to each other, as the exhibition shows.
Eno showed his gratitude for the substantial work done to prepare the exhibition. “I love this city and I ask myself why I do not live here,” he said. There are two reasons according to the artist: “I have a fantastic studio in London, a stunning room which would be difficult to find in Barcelona, and my children are in England. If I can get rid of my children,” he joked, “I’ll come”.
“I love this city and I ask myself why I do not live here”
Brian Eno - Musician and visual artist
The artist pointed out that most of his exhibitions already included light. “I saw it more in paintings and not in the sense of using light and lightning,” he said. His music became slower and slower and he thought of it as a kind of still life of sound. “I tried to get light and sound closer to each other until I created this work you can see here, paintings that moved little by little, not fixed paintings,” he added.
He said that the work is not a retrospective. For example, the photographs of the notes in the notebooks are very old, but the main notes are new. “The light boxes were made this year and ’77 Million Paintings’ is a work which continues evolving and every time I exhibit it, I change it. In this way, it is not a retrospective. I am not old enough for a retrospective,” he said.
The curator, Lluís Nacenta, stated that they did not want to do an exhibition full of things and objects. “If you think of sound exhibitions, at the end there is only one solution and that is that they are full of doors and headphones. We have tried to limit the maximum number of exhibited pieces, but even so we have had to use headphones when I think the ideal would be for them not to be necessary,” Nacenta said. “We made the radical move of deciding the space needed for each piece to be heard and shown in its full complexity and appreciated with its entire richness,” he continued.
The Arts Santa Mònica emphasized that 'Lightforms / Soundforms' is the most complete exhibition to date carried out at an international level on Brian Eno's creative work. The exhibition is Arts Santa Mònica’s own production in collaboration with Sonar+D and it fills three floors. Eno created the new piece 'New Space Music' specially for the show. It is a music installation conceived to be listened to specifically in the Max Cahner atrium at the Arts Santa Mònica.
In addition, the exhibition includes the iconic ‘77 Million Paintings’, a big generative audiovisual installation which fills up the entire second floor of the art center. According to Arts Santa Mònica, this means that the images and sounds of which it is comprised develop in an infinite way, according to a set of norms that, “has a certain statistic dimension and, due to the great number of combinations between shapes, colors and sounds, it is constantly renewed. Actually, each combination of light and sound would take millions of years to repeat itself. According to Eno’s calculations, the piece is capable of producing around 77 million different images. Another piece in the exhibition is ‘Light Boxes’ on the first floor, which are “light paintings, which constantly evolve and are considered a painting in movement, or visual music”.
To get to know Brian Eno’s artistic creative process, on the first floor there is a thorough selection of art on paper. It is an organized and dated series of notebooks that the artist has used since his teenage years, which gather both personal and professional matters. Only partial reproductions of the notebooks had been previously published.
'Lightforms / Soundforms' includes a piece at the airport of Barcelona, at the baggage claim in Terminal 1. Travelers arriving in the Catalan capital before June 18 will be able to listen to Brian Eno’s latest album ‘Reflection’ through the airport’s loudspeakers. According to Arts Santa Mònica, the idea of presenting this new ambient piece at the airport is a reference to one of the artist’s first albums of ambient music, 'Music for Airports', from 1978.
Jaume Reus, director of Arts Santa Mònica, was clear about why they were exhibiting the work of Brian Eno in this space. “He is one of the most respected international creators in the multidisciplinary field and a project like this made sense in a place like ours,” he said He emphasized Eno’s renowned work in the field of music, production, the installations, and writing which all together “make up a singular story”.