To give something ‘a voice’, is to give it some form of agency. To ‘take a voice away’, is to do the opposite. To make something ‘sing’ describes an ecstasy of that object.
Gerhard Marx’s enigmatic ‘Vehicle’ explores how the immateriality of sound relates to the physicality of objects. In the pursuit of drawing a voice (and narrative) from ‘things’, Marx has grafted fragments of classical string instruments; a cello, two violins and an upright bass, onto the body parts of a car. As a result the automotive body becomes the resonator box from which a rich, brooding, and immersive sound world is drawn.
For many years artist Gerhard Marx has been considering the entanglement of meaning and material. Beginning with pre-existing conventions, practices and found objects, Marx dissembles these to explore and affect their inherent poetic and philosophical languages and assumptions.
Vehicle works through a similar strategy of dissection, reassembly and hybridization. It is a project of ‘musical forensics’ in which strings are used to see beyond the immediacy of the object, to peep below its surface, to ‘sound things out’. This is done through the extraordinary improvisational exploration of celebrated musicians and collaborators Shane Cooper and Kyle Shepherd. Writer and performer Toast Coetzer’s evocative prose and vocals further layers Vehicle’s rich, moving and transportative sound world.
WRITING | Dave Mann
PHOTOGRAPHER | Zivanai Matangi