Depth Charge is the third solo exhibition in Italy of works by Gary Hill (b.1951, Santa Monica), opening on Thursday, 26 February 2015 at Galleria Lia Rumma, Milan.
Known for his use of video as the form of expression closest to thought, the artist focuses his artistic research on the relationship between verbal codes and electronic and digital images.
In his work, he investigates the processes of perception, the diversity of spoken, written and gestural languages, and the dynamics brought into play by combining visual elements and electronically generated sounds. Since the mid-1970s he has been creating complex and often spectacular videos and video installations, which involve the viewer on a personal, active level.
The six works around which Hill has constructed his third solo exhibition at Lia Rumma’s clearly reveal his meticulous artistic research and the variety of processes it involves. In Depth Charge, the work that gives the exhibition its title, Gary Hill combines two previous works, for the screening is actually a reference to Varèse 360, in which the composition – Un Grand Sommeil Noir by Edgard Varèse – is interpreted by the musician/composer Bill Frisell on the electric guitar, while five monitors on the ground play The Psychedelic Gedankenexperiment, in which the artist investigates the psychic alterations brought about by lysergic acid diethylamide, or LSD.
The very presence of the artist and his voice, which is often a part of his works, creates a state of quiescence, inviting the viewer to watch and to listen to the work with great care. This can also be seen in Sine Waveand Isolation Tank, in which an entirely computer-generated video with synthesised sound creates a work of huge impact.
Learning Curve, on the other hand, is a tribute to surfing and to the cognitive relationship between theory and practice. In this work, the viewer is seated on a school chair at the end of a slightly tilted five-metre-long table made in perspective in order to emphasise its length, and asked to focus on a 5-inch monitor that shows a perfect wave, followed endlessly by surfers.