Groove: Artists and Vinyl at Huddersfield Art Gallery

| 27 November 2002

Left: Groove, Project Dark.

Groove, at Huddersfield Art Gallery until January 4, brings together the quintessential exponents of 'vinyl disc culture', putting the needle back into the groove and the groove into art.

The CD may have made the LP obsolete but vinyl retains its pivotal role on the turntables of history as the disseminator of new music in the twenty-first century.

Groove, curated by David Briers, offers an international, cross-generational selection of works in all media, mixing contemporary works with earlier, historically significant 'touchstones'.

The show, of original art works and documentation, spans the 1960s compositions of John Cage and Mauricio Kagel, work by visual artists including Marcel Duchamp and Cornelia Parker, and some idiosyncratic output from the experimental fringe of DJ culture by Matt Wand and Project Dark.

Groove presents the work of artists and musicians who are working at the very edge of vinyl disc culture - deconstructing and paring down its qualities, questioning its former aspect of commercial replication by making unique objects, or ruthlessly subverting the concept of hi-fi by making intentionally disfigured or bricolaged records.

Right: Sparking Gramophone by Project Dark.

Reconstructed for the first time in the UK, John Cage's '33 1/3' is made of up 12 white plinths of varying heights, each with a turntable on top and speakers inside set alongside a plinths bearing 100 records that people can play.

Paul DeMarinis' A Flaw in the Décor is a sound sculpture, one of a series called The Edison Effect. The piece plays (with a laser beam) discs made out of beeswax, producing sounds and music related to bees.

Left: Etched Record by Alex Baker

Turner Prize nominated artist Cornelia Parker contributes two works, The negative of Space, 1996 and Grooves in a record that belonged to Hitler. The former is a piece made from the excess of the groove in vinyl records cut at the famed Abbey Road Studios and the latter a photographic close up of the grooves in a record owned by the German dictator.

Project Dark make playable 7-inch discs from bizarre things like sandpaper or carpet.

Right: biscuit '7' single, 'King Biscuit Time' by Project Dark

Alongside the exhibition Caroline de Lannoy has been commissioned to produce a new piece for Huddersfield Library and Art Gallery, based on the male and female voice.

Caroline will be the first in a series of three commissions to animate the space between the library and art gallery during 2003, based on sound, text and light.

Huddersfield Art Gallery has been turned into something of an art form itself with an exciting enhancement programme. The gallery has introduced a lounge space where visitors can discuss the works on show over a coffee. New signage has also been introduced to complete the new fresh look, in keeping with Huddersfield's thriving contemporary art scene.

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