Curating Commissioning Producing


Shuffle - Christian Marclay

Featuring: Steve Beresford, John Butcher, BJ Cole, John Edwards, Sylvia Hallett, Alan Tomlinson, Byron Wallen

The Council Chamber, Finsbury Town Hall
Saturday 18th August 2007

To coincide with the publication of artist Christian Marclay's new work Shuffle - a musical score comprised of photographs printed onto a deck of cards - a stellar lineup of musicians interpreted the score and brought Shuffle to life for this London premiere.

Turning the traditional art book format on its head, Shuffle takes on the form of a deck of oversized playing cards that allows for a hands-on interactive experience between the viewer, the cards, and the images. Each of these images is presented on an individual card, and the entire deck is enclosed in a distinctive package. Part Fluxus box, part Cageian chance operation or Eames House Of Cards, the deck offers a compelling, serendipity driven visual experience, but is also intended to be used as a spontaneous musical score. Shuffle includes an explanation and instructions by Marclay.

Christian Marclay uses a range of media, video, sculpture, installation, and performance to address the ways that music and sound impact our experience of the world. Shuffle (Aperture, June 2007) presents Marclay's rarely seen photographic work, in which he explores the presence of music as graphics in our daily lives. Marclay has extensively photographed the appearance of musical notation in the world: on shop awnings, chocolate tins, T-shirts, underwear and other unexpected places. The work reveals Marclay, a prominent figure in contemporary art, to be an obsessive photographic note-taker with a witty flair for uncovering clue-like music hidden in the landscape and adorning our world. All around us, it seems, are musical notes just waiting to be discovered and played.

Christian Marclay was born in 1955 in San Rafael, California, and grew up in Geneva, where he studied at the Ecole Superieure d'Art Visuel prior to attending the Massachusetts College Of Art, Boston. His work has been widely exhibited, including solo exhibitions at the Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden; Seattle Art Museum; Tate Modern, London; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Venice Biennale; and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Marclay lives and works in New York City and London.

About the Musicians

Steve Beresford is an institution in experimental music. Besides his work as a piano/electronics composer and improvisor, he has written numerous works for TV and film.

John Butcher, saxophone, is an internationally renowned improvising musician.

BJ Cole is a leading pedal steel guitarist, extremely wide ranging in his terms of reference.

John Edwards is a double bass powerhouse and his continuous touring work includes being a part in Evan Parker's group.

Sylvia Hallett is an improviser, composer, and multi-instrumentalist who works frequently with radio and dance companies. For Shuffle she performes mainly violin and musical saw.

Alan Tomlinson is a virtuoso trombonist, both within classical and improvised musics.

Byron Wallen is a leading jazz trumpeter who has most recently supported Ornette Coleman at the Royal Festival Hall.

Related Links
Christian Marclay
Steve Beresford
John Butcher