Visiting Ian Schneller’s Aero Dynamisms at Packer Schopf Gallery is a feast for the eye and ear alike. The exhibition consists of a vibrant sound installation constructed around beautifully crafted horn speakers of various sizes that appear to organically emerge from the gallery floor like fresh spring vegetation; their shapes reminiscent of trumpet shaped flowers such as campsis or trumpet vine, angel’s trumpet, foxglove, and calla lily. Their delicate surfaces are elegant and seductive, contrasting with the more industrial looking tube amplifiers that power them. Along the gallery’s east wall, a series of Aerosel moving sculptures free-spin in space, their intertwining shapes casting ever-changing shadows onto the wall. The sound component of the installation has been scored by Wilco drummer and percussionist Glen Kotche and includes recordings by the Kronos Quartet.
Interacting with both the visual and the aural, taking in the exhibition is an evolving process of discovery. As one negotiates the space and finds different vantage points from which to feast the eye, the ear picks up subtle aural changes, as each speaker appears to have its very own unique sound signature. The experience is simultaneously exhausting and invigorating as Schneller happily pushes our limits of perception, and we equally look forward to the periods of relative quiet in-between different compositions, and to the music starting to play again, underscoring the symbiotic relationship between sound and object.
Ian Schneller’s Aero Dynamisms is an excellent exhibition and remains on view at Packer Schopf Gallery through May 31th, 2014. Packer Schopf Gallery is located in Chicago’s West Loop gallery district at 942 W. Lake Street The gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday 11 a.m. till 5:30 p.m.