Photo: Bryony McIntyre

Charles Curtis & Raha Raissnia

A duo between a visual artist and a musician who, while using very different means  (35mm slides & 16mm film / cello), both approach their work with a keen interest in the layering of material, the points at which images or notes overlap and the accidental beauty that can be created there.  You couldn’t really say that image or sound come first, but rather that in their combination they create a third element in the performance, the synthesis of shared approaches.

Raissnia emigrated, when quite young, from Iran to the USA in 1983.  She’s a painter and photographer of dense, gestural, monochrome images; layered, reflected composites. Curtis is one of the leading cellists in experimental music.  His playing is diamond-cut and precise, yet also full of tiny detail, beating multiphonics and hovering drones.  He’s been a collaborator with legendary minimalist composer La Monte Young for the best part of 20 years and has had works written specifically for him by Young, as well as other giants of minimalist music, including Alvin Lucier and Eliane Radigue.

 

In her performances, Raha creates a kind of dreamlike atmosphere of slowly evolving, delicate images, overlapped, intertwined and contrasted.  Looking at her multiple 35mm slides, superimposed over colour 16mm film loops we get the impression of having a kind of compound eye, of looking at refracted and multiplied images produced through a glass paperweight. Charles’ accompaniment mixes delicate electronic tones that articulate the architecture of the room with his slowly evolving microtonal cello drones; if only such a thing as a compound ear existed, then we’d use that to describe the multiplicity of tiny interactions, drones and movements he creates. 

  • Audio

  • Video

    Credits / license
    • Copyright © 2008

  • Video - Edit

    Credits / license
    • Copyright © 2008