The Fugue

The Fugue is a further exploration of painting in the realm of time and space. The tiny paintings’ movements in the work are meant to suggest a play between related characters who cannot quite escape their fate. Their actions have a complex (but, perhaps, not intuitively graspable) structure1 that starts to disintegrate, is then recalibrated but, like most things in life, is, nonetheless, subtly altered by its circumstances.

The Fugue consists of a black stage-like platform with an arrangement of aluminum channel on top. Between the spaces created by the staggered aluminum structures, five miniature, white paintings are motorized, programmed and choreographed to appear, disappear, reverse and re-appear like the musical structure of a fugue. Accompanying all this is Benoit Granier’s multi-channeled composition Unmentioned, what it can become as though it were not…(Fugue), which is based on the acoustic artist Florian Grond's sonification of my abstract painting used in the piece Delay.  In other words, Granier took the sounds derived from a painting and turned them into a fugue. Or, put yet another way, Granier took a painting’s typically inaudible voice (made audible for Delay) and set it to music, which in turn inspired the mechanical opera The Fugue.

Completing all this is a black mirror, off to one side, that reflects the miniature set-up, referencing the work’s ever-changing context and the poignant reality that things (and people) are doomed to change– are continuously in a state of flux, morphing, challenging and altering us.

1Each moving miniature painting has its own choreographed score; but it is closely related to the others. The first is programmed to move to a set of commands that are based on the degrees that make up a circle, 360. The second’s code is exactly the same, but its start time is delayed; the third’s code is reversed and so on. Over time, however, different factors – humidity, heat, skidding and others, which are purposely not constrained– will affect the paintings’ movements; so that eventually, they will hit the end of their tracks. At this point, the code will send the errant one back to the start, while all the others will continue and a new choreography – still constrained by the numerical structure of the code – will, thus, emerge.



© Copyright 2015 Mary Sherman - All rights reserved.