Mungo Thomson

Mungo Thomson

ArtPace | San Antonio

Mungo Thomson, Crickets, 2013. Courtesy of the artist and Artpace San Antonio.

February 12, 2014

Mungo Thomson: Crickets for Solo and Ensemble
January 16–April 27, 2014

Artpace San Antonio
445 N. Main Avenue
San Antonio, Texas 78205 

Artpace San Antonio is pleased to announce a new exhibition featuring the work of Los Angeles artist Mungo Thomson, Crickets for Solo and Ensemble. The exhibition will present several facets of Thomson’s multi-platform project Crickets (2012–13). Working with composer Michael Webster, Thomson transcribed a compilation of field recordings of crickets from around the world (Borneo, Cameroon, France, Martinique, Senegal, Thailand, Venezuela) into a musical score for orchestra. The video and audio installation Crickets (2013) documents the performance by a 17-player ensemble of violin, flute, clarinet, and percussion.

Known as good luck in some parts of the world, crickets are often kept indoors to sing in cages. While working with the musicians, Thomson also recorded a series of ‘solos’—individual players impersonating the chirp of a single insect. A series of handmade cricket cages, each containing one such ‘solo’ playing from a tiny iPod, will be installed in Artpace’s downstairs gallery (Cricket Solo for Clarinet; Cricket Solo for Violin, etc., all 2013). A blind-debossed letterpress edition of the sheet music to Crickets—prints made by pressure but without ink—will also be on view.

Mungo Thomson’s work in various media (film, sound, sculpture, photography and publications) explores backgrounds, negative space and atmospherics—whether material and phenomenological or social and historical. His artworks approach perception and cultural mediation with economy and wit, and often rely on existing forms of recognition and distribution. Crickets for Solo and Ensemble explores the aural backdrop that crickets represent—so ubiquitous that they have come to stand in for silence, and, in the context of performance, a sign that the performance is bombing.

Crickets was performed live at the Pacific Standard Time Public Art and Performance Festival: The Ball of Artists in Los Angeles in January 2012, and on the High Line in New York City in June 2013. A book of the musical score to Crickets is forthcoming from Christoph Keller Editions and JRP|Ringier.

Mungo Thomson: Crickets for Solo and Ensemble was curated by Artpace Executive Director Amada Cruz and generously supported by Suzanne Deal Booth and David G. Booth.

Crickets for Solo and Ensemble will be on view Thursday, January 16 to April 27.

About Artpace
Artpace nurtures the freedom to dream by supporting the creative process and engaging audiences with the most innovative art and artists from around the world. Located in San Antonio, Texas, Artpace is renowned for its International Artist-in-Residence program that annually hosts three residencies, each of which features one Texas artist, one national artist, and one international artist, who are selected by a notable guest curator. Each eight-week residency culminates in a two-month exhibition on site. The mission of this program is to provide artists with unparalleled resources that allow them to experiment with new ideas and take provocative risks. The work created at Artpace goes on to show at some of the world’s most distinguished venues, often presenting a pivotal moment in an artist’s career. 

Artpace is located in downtown San Antonio at 445 N. Main Avenue, between Savings and Martin streets. Free parking is available at 513 N. Flores Street. Artpace is open to the public Wednesday through Sunday from noon to 5pm, and by appointment. Admission is free. 


Mungo Thomson at Artpace San Antonio
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