April 8 – August 20, 2016
The second exhibition at the David Ireland House since its inaugural opening to the public, The Sound of Blue introduced viewers to the late artist’s home and artistic practice with a new installation of work drawn from the 500 Capp Street Foundation’s collection. Guest curated by artist Rebecca Goldfarb, the evolving, site-specific installation presented a selection of artworks in various media that explore the riddles embedded in Ireland’s work, his interest in sensory experience, and the marking of time.
The exhibition took its title from the name of a rarely experienced sculpture Ireland made in 1983, The Sound of Blue, which consists of a copper pipe on a concrete base that houses a propane tank. Upon lighting, a blue flame appears and the sound of ignition is amplified by a small microphone — a piece that illustrates Ireland’s fascination with sound, sight, and language, and how sensory information is processed and experienced.
Goldfarb, who selected the works on view, also invited three additional Bay Area artists and the home’s docents to participate in the show by reinterpreting and reconfiguring the installation over the course of its run. Yves Béhar, designer and creator of Fuseproject; Tomas McCabe, filmmaker, executive director of the Black Rock Arts Foundation, and associate director of strategic initiatives for Burning Man; and San Francisco-based artist Amy Trachtenberg in turn intervened and re-situatef certain pieces in the house, thereby creating an exhibition in a continual state of flux. Each guest curator brought their personal experiences and backgrounds to Ireland’s work, allowing new meanings to arise, expanding on the artist’s process-based vocabulary, and echoing his contemplations on the inconstancy of life.