New MOCA Exhibition Challenges Preconceptions of the Museum Experience

July 22, 2013


Museum etiquette no.7: Noise. Photo by Wylwyn Dominic Reyes.

Join MOCA on Friday, June 26 for The Early Years, as artist Wylwyn Dominic Reyes slyly confronts preconceptions about the museum experience with witty and deceptively simple subtractions and insertions into MOCA’s Great Hall. Whether cutting into the walls or encouraging visitors to make disruptive noises that produce visual sound waves in a water sculpture, Reyes’ avails himself to a distinctive take on classic conceptual tactics. In doing so, he brings a mix of humor and serious inquiry to questions addressing both metaphysical and artistic concerns.

One piece, Museum Etiquette No. 7, consists of a tray of water on a museum pedestal attached to a microphone, a modified guitar amplifier, and a 12″ sub-woofer. The reverberation from the proximity of the microphone to the speaker creates a cymatic reaction (visual sound waves) that are manifested into geometric patterns seen in the tray and in a large projection, filmed from above. Ambient sound produces waves in the liquid, with the added attraction of visitors being encouraged to make vocal noises into the microphone to alter the moving shapes by raising or lowering pitch and volume. To get the most reaction from the fluid, the participant must make a variety of very loud and peculiar resonant sounds.

Herman, a small forged steel, silicone, and ink sculpture, is a stand-in for the conflicted feelings of the artist as they are on display. It will counterbalance the extroverted and participatory aspects of Museum Etiquette No. 7 by shyly, somewhat awkwardly occupying corners, trying to hide. Its quest for anonymity, even as it periodically moves around the gallery, will be hindered by a spotlight illuminating the spiky, retiring object.

Finally, Reyes will cut two large painting-sized holes in one of the gallery’s walls, disrupting and questioning the structure of the museum itself, allowing one to see “through” it. With a well-thought-out lack of excess, these witty and deceptively simple subtractions and insertions confront the viewer’s preconceptions about the museum experience, providing both physical and psychic room to appreciate the specific perceptual and phenomenological characteristics of looking at art.

Wylwyn Dominic Reyes was born in Manila in 1978. He is in the process of completing a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art: 3-Dimensional Studies at the University of Arizona, where he received a Misto-Ertz scholarship, and has been included in several group exhibitions in Tucson. The Early Years is his first museum exhibition.

A preview will be open to MOCA members from 7-8pm, with everybody welcome at 8pm. The event is free to the public. For more information, visit the MOCA website.