Mungo Thomson

Mungo Thomson

Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver

View of Mungo Thomson, Time, People, Money, Crickets, Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver, 2015. Photo: Eric Swanson.

July 7, 2015

Mungo Thomson
Time, People, Money, Crickets

July 10–August 30, 2015

Performance: Friday, July 10, 8:30pm
Cricket Solos for Clarinet, Piccolo, Percussion, and Violin
Presented in partnership with Vancouver New Music
Emery Barnes Park, Vancouver

Contemporary Art Gallery
555 Nelson Street
Vancouver BC, V6B 6R5

The Contemporary Art Gallery presents a major solo exhibition by Los Angeles based artist Mungo Thomson. Time, People, Money, Crickets brings together a survey of work produced during the past five years, including key works in film, sound, sculpture, and performance complemented by an extensive monographic publication. 

Central to Thomson’s artistic proposition is an embrace of context—be it situational, institutional, mass cultural or art historical—and it is through the intelligent breadth of his individual works that we are prompted to examine the perceptual mechanics of everyday life in relation to a wider historical and cosmic scale. The exhibition features several works from Thomson’s ongoing series “TIME”: person-sized, silkscreened mirrors bearing the iconic logo and red border of the international weekly news magazine. The mirrors are based on individual covers of the magazine that reference a variety of cultural and cosmological notions of time and history, forming a broad cumulative network of perceptual objects that pictures the viewer within it. Such associations are further elaborated by a new iteration of Thomson’s ongoing series Negative Space, photographic murals of inverted astronomical imagery from the Hubble Space Telescope, here specially designed for the exterior of the Contemporary Art Gallery.

Thomson’s Crickets (2012–13) is an ambitious musical score for orchestra based on the chirping of crickets. Transcribed from a French compilation of field recordings from around the world and produced in collaboration with Los Angeles composer Michael Webster, the score contains 25 movements for a 17-player classical ensemble. Exploring the distinctions between silence, sound, noise and music, Crickets uses the aural backdrop that these insects represent: so ubiquitous that they have come to stand in for silence and in the context of performance, failure. Thomson and Webster have also developed this piece for solo performers—individual musicians scattered around a park, each simulating the sound of a single cricket with a different instrument. Working with Vancouver New Music, CAG will present a live performance of Cricket Solos in Emery Barnes Park.

Other works in the exhibition play with the structures and atmospherics of the gallery and museum. For example, Untitled (Margo Leavin Gallery, 1970–) (2009) is a Super-16mm stop-motion film that flips through the thousands of contacts–artists, framers, electricians, collectors, customs agents, florists, critics, exterminators–in the business card rolodexes of Los Angeles’ Margo Leavin Gallery, which opened in 1970 and closed in 2012. And Mail (2013) is a simple intervention into the CAG’s everyday infrastructure. For the duration of the exhibition, once delivered, the mail remains on the floor unopened, gradually becoming an obstacle to physical passage as well as to institutional function. 

Mungo Thomson: Time, People, Money, Crickets is organized by the Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver and SITE Santa Fe. Thomson is represented by Galerie Frank Elbaz, Paris.

Publication: Mungo Thomson, Time, People, Money, Crickets
A new 200-page monograph of Thomson’s work, Time, People, Money, Crickets, published by Contemporary Art Gallery with SITE Santa Fe is available online and at the gallery.

Further information: / / /

Press contact
T +001 604 681 2700 / j.henderson [​at​]

Mungo Thomson at Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver
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