Don’t you wonder sometimes about the relationship between sound and sight? Artist Patrick Bernatchez works with both, and an eclectic immersive experience incorporating his film and video work and musical experimentation takes place at SITE Santa Fe next week. Bernatchez is showing three films — The Chrysalides Trilogy, Chrysalide Empereur, and 180° — in the Marlene Nathan Meyerson Auditorium at 6 p.m. on Thursday, April 19. In them, the artist explores the absurdities and contradictions of living in a capitalist culture and the effects of obsessive consumption. The works draw from a mix of historic art forms such as Mannerism and the Baroque, along with contemporary pop culture, horror movies, science fiction, and fantasy. The Chrysalides Trilogy, set against a backdrop of the end-times, is a visual excursion into the cyclic movement from convergence into disorder and dissolution. The trilogy is composed of three videos: I Feel Cold Today, Chrysalide, and 13. Bernatchez’s most recent film, 180°, developed out of his experimentation with music scores, and is inspired by what would happen if he rotated a score and played it on the horizontal. The result is a film whose sounds are vaguely familiar but also unconventional, with imagery of an upside-down pianist performing the score, working in a surreal manner antithetical to convention. General admission to the films is $5.
In addition to the films, SITE hosts installations of Bernatchez’s collaborations with Patrice Coulombe, Goldberg Experienced.04/GE0433RPM and Goldberg Experienced.03/77K. The first of these musical pieces is a 40-minute composition for eight pianos played through eight speakers and occurs at 11 a.m. and 1 and 3 p.m. on Thursday, April 19, through Saturday, April 21, free with admission. It’s a studio recording performed by pianist Marybelle Frappier with sound and mixing by composer Adam Cavaluzi. Goldberg Experienced.03/77K takes place at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, April 20, only. The second event is an installation of eight turntables that play a basic and repetitive melody through the unsynched movement of the needles. It includes brief extracts from the Aria from Bach’s “Goldberg” Variations. The way the piece is structured, it becomes increasingly fragmented and abstract, transforming into a minimalist score as it plays. Admission to Goldberg Experienced.03/77K is $15. Discounts are available.
The events are in conjunction with the current SITE exhibition Future Shock (on view through June 10), in which Bernatchez’s multimedia installation Lost in Time is on view. SITE Santa Fe is located at 1606 Paseo de Peralta. Call 505-989-1199 for more information.