July 24, 2013 - University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA) - Zarouhie Abdalian
July 24, 2013

Zarouhie Abdalian

Photo: Zarouhie Abdalian.

Zarouhie Abdalian / MATRIX 249
August 2–September 29, 2013

University of California, Berkeley Art Museum
and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA)

Woo Hon Fai Hall
2625 Durant Ave. #2250
Berkeley, CA 94720-2250
Hours: Wednesday–Sunday 11am–5pm;
open till 9pm on L@TE Fridays

T 510 642 0808



Zarouhie Abdalian / MATRIX 249 is the first solo exhibition in a museum by the Oakland-based artist, whose work often responds to the specific attributes of a given location, architectural setting, or social landscape. Abdalian typically employs modest materials to produce subtle conceptual or formal effects that stage an alteration, or a shift of perception, within the immediate environment. Her work inspires careful examination of its surroundings, as it typically resides on the threshold of visibility.

For this exhibition the artist has created new sculptures specifically for BAM/PFA that explore the interrelated, yet distinct, states of noise, silence, and the absence of sound. In one, a bell rings continuously in a vacuum, so that, while visible, the sonorous effects are not audible. In another, hammers audibly articulate the sound and space of a hollow, opaque, rectilinear shape. In these works Abdalian challenges what is perceptible and understood through multiple physical senses.

The sculptures in the exhibition relate to a major public artwork that will be presented as part of SFMOMA’s forthcoming SECA Art Award exhibition. Sited in downtown Oakland around Frank Ogawa Plaza, Abdalian’s sound-based installation will be activated at different times of day during the run of the exhibition (September 14 to November 17, 2013). The work consists of brass bells placed on the rooftops of buildings near the plaza. The bells sound together once a day, at randomly determined times. 

On the opening night of the MATRIX exhibition, Abdalian and Apsara DiQuinzio, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art and Phyllis C. Wattis MATRIX Curator, will participate in an informal Q&A in the galleries. The discussion will be followed by a special L@TE: Friday Nights @ BAM/PFA event, programmed by the artist, that will feature seminal sound compositions by other artists that explore the relationship of sound and the site of production, performed by William Winant, Joseph Rosenzweig, and a cast of other musicians and artists.

Opening program

Sounding the Path of the Signal
Friday, August 2, 7:30pm
L@TE: Friday Nights @ BAM/PFA

Programmed by Zarouhie Abdalian
Preceded by a Q&A with the artist and curator at 7pm

Each of the works in this evening’s program proposes a novel treatment of the interaction between sound and the specific site of its production. 

Pauline Oliveros, Single Stroke Roll (1988)
Maryanne Amacher “Dense Boogie 1″ from Sound Characters (1999)
Peter Ablinger, The Real as Imaginary (2012)
Alvin Lucier, Silver Streetcar for the Orchestra (1988)
James Tenney, “Hocket for Henry Cowell” from Three Pieces for Drum Quartet (1974)
Maryanne Amacher, “Chorale 1″ from Sound Characters (1999)
John Cage, 0’00″ (4′ 33″ No. 2) (1962)
Alvin Lucier, Vespers (1968)

Performed by William Winant, Joseph Rosenzwieg, and others.

For more information about the exhibition, click here.

MATRIX 249 is organized by Apsara DiQuinzio, curator of modern and contemporary art and Phyllis C. Wattis MATRIX Curator. The MATRIX Program is made possible by a generous endowment gift from Phyllis C. Wattis and the continued support of the BAM/PFA Trustees.

L@TE is made possible by the Thomas J. Long Foundation and the continued support of the BAM/PFA Trustees.

Press contact: 
Peter Cavagnaro, pcavagnaro [​at​] berkeley.edu


Zarouhie Abdalian at BAM/PFA
University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA)
Share - Zarouhie Abdalian
  • 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