decipher, 2010








decipher, 2010

  • 10′ x 9′ x 9′
  • April 2010. Dové Gallery/Second Street Gallery, Charlottesville, VA
  • 8-channel surround sound and the sound generated LED lights.
    Approximately 6 minutes interval.
  • 3″ speakers, bamboo, horsehair, Japanese screen paper, kite strings, M-Audio ProFire610, metal, nikawa-glue, original circuit, plexi, polypropylene, MacBookPro, and speaker wire.
  • — sound info —
    composer: Takafumi Ide
    piano/harpsichord: Eriko Nagai
    cello: Richard Vaudrey
    violin: Leah Zelnick

decipher – (syn.) make sense of, interpret, translate, make out, work out, read…

For Takafumi Ide, who moved to the United States only a decade ago, the dictionary is a constant companion.  Translating is a daily practice.  So it should come as no surprise that his site specific installation work takes on this practice both literally and metaphorically.

Created especially for Second Street Gallery, and in reaction to Ide’s first experience of this place, and our history, decipher, 2010, translates Charlottesville’s Jeffersonian legacy into a 21st century language of LED lights and looping audio.  It also honors traditional forms and materials, and weaves the artist’s own history into the mix.

Visitors are invited to enter an openwork dome “constructed” in the same ratio as the dome at Monticello, with a corresponding illuminated “oculus”.  Suspended by horsehair from a bamboo loop are tubes created from handmade Japanese paper that echo the 20 pairs of columns in the Rotunda at UVA[University of Virginia].  Speakers are hung to the height of Ide himself, a maker of the Artist’s presence both in the work and Charlottesville.  The speakers play an original score, composed by Ide and created using a computer program.  The music plays on 8-channel surround sound and consequently 8 lights illuminate reactively, their brightness diminishing and pulsing in dialogue with the changing intensity of the music.  Inspired by Jefferson’s own passion for music, particularly the violin, the score features Eriko Nagai playing piano and harpsichord, Richard Vaudrey on cello, and Leah Zelnick playing the violin, each affiliated with the department of Music at Stony Brook University where Ide currently teaches.  In the silence the room sinks slowly into a false, melancholy dusk, or as Ide says, “silence makes gloom.”

Originating with the cipher of the dome, translating a classical history into a modern one, and working to find the commonalities between western and eastern cultures, Takafumi Ide transforms the Dové Gallery into a sensory experience where the viewer is charged with deciphering the spaces – thematic, temporal, and physical.

Text by Rebecca Schoenthal, Executive Director, Second Street Gallery, April 1st, 2010