Serpent Songs/Windshadows – Gerard Crewdson

For Sound Series 2018, Gerard Crewdson presents site-specific acoustic sound sculptures.

The centrepiece of the exhibition is a natural horn, nearly five metres long, made from a single hollow tube (like a didgeridoo) and played with a mouthpiece (like a Swiss alphorn). The horn resembles a serpent - not only the creature - but also the instrument of that name which was the predecessor of the modern-day tuba.

Low brass instruments have traditionally been associated with raising the voices of the dead in both Western and non-Western cultures. These are the "serpent songs" of the title but also the "windshadows" - a compound word taken from a Paul Celan poem, Weiss Und Leicht/White and Light. This might be read as a wind of shades, of ghosts, blowing over the genocidal landscape of post WWII Europe.

Blindside stands upon stolen, never ceded Wurundjeri land - a genocidal landscape with its own wind of shades, of ghosts, of voices lost or never heard. Crewdson's other sound sculptures - a ‘Rice Wheel’ and ‘Plum Stone’ - generate sound through gravity-produced falling motion, thereby also acknowledging the Wurundjeri ground upon which the gallery and surrounding city, stand.

    • 37 Swanston Street, Melbourne 3000
    • 20 June 2018
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