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Buildings are urban monoliths. Cultural institutions are perceived to be even more so. Tom Mùller’s WA Now exhibition MONOLITH SCORES delves into what this perceived monolith sounds like, feels like, breathes like.

Conceived around the hexagonal shape central to the built form, the Gallery building internally is defined by open vistas and vertical columns, and breathes in its own rhythm. By listening/resonating with (to) the building, Mùller has created a series of works that include a replica of the central column in the exhibiting space made in pulsating light that breathes six breaths per minute. Known to calm the body and the mind, the six breaths principal is used in Buddhist, yogic and Christian practices: seeing the light and its tempo, experiencing the building’s breath, we as spectators can (see) experience (this) the monolith (in a different way) as a temple.

Original 1979 stone cement tiles from the Gallery rooftop become a sculptural element in the space, like an archaeological find in the future. These tile stacks are shrines of sound, created by Mùller while he ‘played’ the building, scraping, tapping, sounding out the surfaces which form this monolith. We, the audience, also play the building by being in it, talking, walking, being still, thinking: we are its dynamic, give it rhythm, just as it forms ours. Sound and light combine in this exhibition to envelop us and guide us to a way of seeing and experiencing our monolith as a living, breathing structure, simultaneously grand and porous.

ARTIST TALK 11am–12pm, 28 March 2020 | FREE
Hear from artist Tom Mùller for an insight into his artistic practice and WA Now – MONOLITH SCORES exhibition.

Walyalup (Fremantle) based The Undercurrent Choir of 31 singers will perform an ode to the building in three movements following the artist's talk: the first will be to the horizontal plane and the iconic central staircase, the second to the vertical hexagonal columns and the last to the light breaths in the exhibition itself.

For more information visit https://artgallery.wa.gov.au/whats-on/exhibitions/wa-now-tom-muller-monolith-scores


Saturday, March 07 – Monday, June 01


Art Gallery of WA
Perth Cultural Centre
Perth, Western Australia


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