May 12, 2014 - Fondazione Prada - Art or Sound at Ca’ Corner della Regina
May 12, 2014

Art or Sound at Ca’ Corner della Regina

Photo: Albert Giordan. Courtesy Collection Musée de la musique – Cité de la musique, Paris.

Art or Sound
June 7–November 3, 2014 

Preview: June 4–6

Ca’ Corner della Regina
Calle de Ca’ Corner
Santa Croce 2215
30135 Venice 

T + 39 02 54670515 / + 39 041 8109161
info [​at​]


Fondazione Prada will present the exhibition Art or Sound at its Venetian venue of Ca’ Corner della Regina. Curated by Germano Celant, it will run from June 7 to November 3. The preview will be held from Wednesday June 4 to Friday June 6. Conceived as an investigation of the past and our present, the purpose of Art or Sound is to analyze the development of a productive and complex dialogue. It will consider the relationship between art and sound, iconic aspects of the musical instrument, the role of the artist-musician, and the areas in which the visual arts and music have come together and blurred. 

Art or Sound aims to emphasize the symmetrical and ambivalent link that exists between works of art and sound objects. It will offer a reinterpretation of the musical instrument and the way it can become a sculptural-visual entity and back again, in a continual reciprocal relationship of encroachment and inversion, a phenomenon seen since the 16th century. The project analyzes the overlap between the production of both art and sound, music and the visual arts, with the aim of highlighting the constant exchange between them, though eschewing unnecessary categorization. 

Organized on a historical basis, the exhibition will commence with musical instruments made from unusual and precious materials by Michele Antonio Grandi and Giovanni Battista Cassarini in the 17th century, and musical automata—complex artworks that combine the production of sounds with aesthetic values—created, for instance, by the Swiss watchmaker Pierre Jaquet-Droz in the 18th century. It will continue with 19th-century examples of automated musical instruments and mechanical devices capable of giving visual expression to music through light and color. Research in the field of the synesthesia will be presented, along with experiments carried out by the historical avant-gardes, such as the celebrated intonarumori (1913) created by Futurist artist Luigi Russolo, and some of Giacomo Balla’s objects. 

Also exhibited will be the original scores by John Cage and other works by artists of the sixties, such as the sound boxes of Robert Morris, Bruce Nauman and Nam June Paik, kinetic sculptures made by artists like Takis and Stephan von Huene, and sound installations like Robert Rauschenberg’s Oracle (1962–65) and Laurie Anderson’s Handphone Table (1978). There will also be examples of the iconic and formal appropriation of the musical instrument, such as the pianos created by Arman, Richard Artschwager and Joseph Beuys, and hybrid instruments like the guitars and the violins of Ken Butler and the banjos of William T. Wiley, which are genuine sculptures that can be played. This exploration of the ambiguous overlap between art and sound will go on to cover the more recent research of artists like Christian Marclay, Janet Cardiff, Martin Creed and Doug Aitken, and the production of a newer generation, represented by Anri Sala, Athanasios Argianas, Haroon Mirza, Ruth Ewan and Maywa Denki, among others. 

The exhibition will be accompanied and completed by an exhaustive publication by Fondazione Prada. Through the essay by Germano Celant and various contributions by musicologists, visual artists, musicians, composers and art historians, such as Jo Applin, Luciano Chessa, Christoph Cox, Geeta Dayal, Patrick Feaster, Christoph E. Hänggi, Bart Hopkin, Douglas Kahn, Alan Licht, Andrea Lissoni, Noel Lobley, Deirdre Loughridge, Simone Menegoi, Holly Rogers, Jonathan Sterne, David Toop, John Tresch, Eric de Visscher and Rob Young, the book will reconstruct the history of the relationship between art objects, sound-making devices and musical instruments, analyzing its ambiguities, analogies and parallels.

Ca’ Corner della Regina
Calle de Ca’ Corner
Santa Croce 2215 
30135 Venice 
Vaporetto stops: Line 1: San Stae 
and Rialto Mercato

Press contacts 
T +39 02 54670981 / press [​at​]


Fondazione Prada presents Art or Sound at Ca’ Corner della Regina
Fondazione Prada
Share - Art or Sound at Ca’ Corner della Regina
  • Share
Click to subscribe to e-flux and be the first to receive the latest news on international exhibitions and all e-flux related announcements
Subscribe to e-flux
Be the first to receive the latest news on international exhibitions and all e-flux related announcements.
Subscribe to architecture
Explore the most recent content from e-flux architecture and urbanism
Subscribe to e-flux programs
Keep up-to-date on all upcoming talks, screenings, and exhibitions at e-flux in New York