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Art events: Sound controls light at the Ringling while antiquity gets a monumental update at TMA

Ringling Museum Ezra Masch\u2019s installation, Volumes, is an audio-visual experience in which sound controls light.
Maggie Duffy, Times Staff Writer
Wednesday 15 August 2018 11.29

AUDIO VISUAL: VOLUMES

Edgy, experimental performance art comes to the Ringling Museum in the form of Volumes, an immersive audio-video installation by Brooklyn-based artist Ezra Masch. The beats of a drummer’s live performance activate a three-dimensional grid of bright white LED lights. Pitch activates the light vertically while volume controls them horizontally, so the result can be a flurry of frenetic light, depending on the performance. To ensure there would always be a trained drummer playing, the museum did an open call for drummers and has 60 people volunteering to take turns experimenting with visual patternmaking through music. Masch hopes the performers find a new dimension to their own playing, and finds the notion of these improvised performances exciting.

In addition, four curated performances with acclaimed drummers will be held over the next four Thursdays, starting this Thursday with Taylor Gordon, an R&B/hip-hop drummer who backed Beyoncé’s Super Bowl halftime performance. Following her on Aug. 23 is jazz drummer Brian Blades, who has played with Chick Corea. On Aug. 30, it’s Greg Fox, who has played in many metal bands, and finally on Sept. 6, it’s Antonio Sanchez, who composed the perfectly matched score for the 2014 movie Birdman. Two performances will be held each time, at 7:30 and 8:30 p.m.

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The performances take place in the blacked-out Monda Gallery, and it’s recommended that you sit or lean during them, as the flashing lights are intense and could cause dizziness. If you are prone to seizures, you should avoid the exhibit. Weekly performances happen Tuesday through Sunday, 11 a.m.-noon and 3-4 p.m. through Sept. 9, at 5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota. (941) 359-5700. ringling.org.

PASSIONATE ART: SEASON OF LOVE AT TMA

The Tampa Museum of Art kicks off its Season of Love exhibition schedule, which will include the "Love Is Calling" infinity room by Yayoi Kusama and a retrospective of Robert Indiana, sculptor of the famous Love statues. But opening Thursday is the first installment, "Patricia Cronin, Aphrodite and the Lure of Antiquity." The museum commissioned Cronin, a Brooklyn-based sculptor, to create a monumental sculpture of Aphrodite, based on a fragment of a first century A.D. marble torso of the Greek goddess that is in the museum’s permanent collection. In a nod to the original, the statue will have a stone torso and a translucent head, arms and legs. Other works by Cronin will be paired with other objects of antiquity, including multiple iterations of her Memorial to a Marriage, pictured, which updates neoclassical funerary monuments by incorporating issues of social justice; in this case, the couple are both women. A discussion with Cronin happens from 12:30-1 p.m. Thursday. The exhibit remains on display through Jan. 6 at 120 W Gasparilla Plaza. tampamuseum.org.

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