Once a season, the Vancouver Art Gallery hosts FUSE night combining art, music and lots of mingling. Every event is unique in its curation and performances, and captures the tone of the gallery’s various exhibitions. For spring ’15, the theme was The Noise of Silence, a night curated by David Pay, the artistic director of Music on Main and produced by Media Lab. It was a night that was inspired by the idea of listening. It was an exploration of sound, with performances having themes of isolation and reputation in the music.
FUSE is also a great time to check out the exhibits that are housed on the four floors of the gallery. The Noise of Silence featured the Cezanne and the Modern exhibit in the last weeks of its run at the gallery. There were some new exhibits as well, like the projection room on the top floor, which was a huge draw for crowds, eager to snap a selfie before the projections changed. Other popular exhibits at the event were The Poetics of Space and The Material Future, which combined the architecture of Herzog and de Meuron and the Vancouver Art Gallery.
The event focused on the notion of quietness, the space that a lack of sound creates. It was not an easy task to remain still and silent, especially in a crowd that can be quite raucous after a few visits to the courtroom bar, but it was a fun exercise, in patience and diligence. The performers experimenting with silence were contrasted with the spontaneous combustions of Jocelyn Merlock and James Maxwell, whose performance brought a harmonious balance to the evening. If the packed event on a particularly rainy evening in the city was any indication, FUSE nights are bringing home global themes in contemporary art, and it’s working well.
Check out our video coverage of the night here.