In association with the Shaw Gallery and Ogden Contemporary Arts, Tania Candiani, an artist whose focus lies primarily in producing pieces of art composing elements of sound, spoke about issues around social justice on Nov. 11.

Artist Tania Candiani watches a video with her audience showing how music and art intertwine to make a special kind of art. (Kennedy Robins/ The Signpost)
Artist Tania Candiani watches a video with her audience showing how music and art intertwine to make a special kind of art. Photo credit: Kennedy Robins

The presentation is the third of four events of the Vida, Muerte, Justicia exhibition. The exhibition aims to bring focus to the many aspects and issues in the efforts towards social justice.

“In her practice, Candiani has worked with different associative narratives taken as a sturdy point of proposal,” Lydia Gravis, director of art exhibitions and public programming at the Shaw Gallery, said.

The line engraved in the top of this box is meant to be another river record. When you play the instrument, it will play using the strings in the box that follow the record of the river. This is meant to give a voice to the river.
The line engraved in the top of this box is meant to be another river record. When you play the instrument, it will play using the strings in the box that follow the record of the river. This is meant to give a voice to the river. Photo credit: Kennedy Robins

The lecture included a collection of pieces prepared for the audience. The multiple exhibitions and art installations presented cultural themes that spanned the globe, from Mexico to Egypt.

Candiani, born in Mexico city, focuses on the intersection between sound and language: phonic, graphic, linguistic, symbolic and technological.

A piece of art done by Tania Candiani called "the language of sound". Each person shown would make a noise and the noises would echo to make a kind of musical sound throughout the room. (Kennedy Robins/ The Signpost)
A piece of art done by Tania Candiani called "the language of sound". Each person shown would make a noise and the noises would echo to make a kind of musical sound throughout the room. Photo credit: Kennedy Robins

“There’s a very interesting tradition of trying to play or create an artificial voice that can be human,” Candiani said.

Candiani is not a musician and describes her approach to sound as “empirical.” She views her art as the production of knowledge by using deconstruction and reorganization as a discourse.

This piece of art is meant to represent human labor.
This piece of art is meant to represent human labor. Photo credit: Kennedy Robins

She aims to consolidate intersection between art, design, literature, sound and sustainability for the production of a wide variety of artistic practices. Candiani co-creates with different communities through projects developed for specific sites, weaving interdisciplinary practices through research of historical records using craft, labor, tradition, rhythm and translation.

The shape of a river channel is in this music box, it can give the river a voice so humans can hear what the river sounds like due to the shape of the strings. (Kennedy Robins/ The Signpost)
The shape of a river channel is in this music box, it can give the river a voice so humans can hear what the river sounds like due to the shape of the strings. Photo credit: Kennedy Robins

Candiani has been recognized as an art fellow by the Guggenheim and Smithsonian, as well as being honorably mentioned at Arts at CERN among many other accolades.

Vida, Muerte, Justicia will have its final live event, a curatorial lecture on Nov. 18, titled “The Making of an Exhibition” and hosted by curators Jorge Rojas and Maria del Mar Gonzalez-Gonzalez.

These boats were found in a desert, while many people see them as garbage, Tania Candiani saw them as art. She put the boats upwards, attached some strings and let the wind do the rest of the work. When the wind blows through this piece of art, it causes one string to vibrate and then transfers that vibration onto the next strings, which makes an "out of this world noise." (Kennedy Robins/ The Signpost)
Finding these boats in a desert, Tania Candiani put them upward and attached some strings to let wind blow through them, causing the strings to vibrate together to make an "out-of-this-world noise." Photo credit: Kennedy Robins

The exhibition features work from collaborating artists and is on view at the Shaw Gallery and Ogden Contemporary Arts Center until Nov. 27.

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