'Sounding Out The Museum II FRANCIS BACON,' is a series of works which explored the practices of performance within Gallery settings. The project built upon the successful Sounding Out the Museum performance in Nimes in June 2008 in which new works were performed in the atrium of the Musee des Beaux Arts as a response to the Between Two Heads exhibition by Peter Seddon.
The Hugh Lane Gallery in Dublin is the site for the famous Francis Bacon Studio. In 1998, John Edwards, Francis Bacon’s sole heir, donated the entire contents of Bacon’s studio at 7 Reece Mews to the Hugh Lane Gallery. The studio was subsequently transported, speck by speck to Dublin and reassembled in the Hugh Lane Gallery.
In his book ‘Inside the White Cube’ Brian O’ Doherty defends the ‘real life of the world against the sterilized operating room of the white cube – defends time and change against the myth of the eternality and transcendence of pure form’. The Francis Bacon studio is one such example of the changing landscape of museums and galleries in which the chaotic, the banal, the ad hoc take their place amongst the permanent, stable and the fixed.
Consequently, the Studio raises questions for museology. The artist’s studio is a place of trial and error, a place for testing new materials, a place of discarded projects. It is the site in which work is made, but it is not the work. In creating the Francis Bacon Studio at Hugh Lane Gallery, new boundaries are defined in the practices of museology.
It is into this context that ensemble Scratch the Surface were invited by the Hugh Lane Gallery to curate a performance which explored through sound and movement questions of hybrid practices in Gallery spaces raised by the Francis Bacon Studio.
Hugh Lane Gallery presents Bacon’s studio as a site for artistic and aesthetic interest, similarly the work mounted by ensemble Scratch the Surface raised specific questions around sound, museology and hybrid practices in terms of site and genres.
The work ‘upon the place beneath’ by Claudia Kappenberg explored a fascination with ‘process’ through oblique approaches to movement and sound. The project examined the role of ‘preparation’ and ‘chance’ within music improvisation.
Similarly, the performance work of Conall Gleeson and Jean Martin examined the role of ‘preparation’ in the production of sound, investigating the process by which sound is produced prior to its performance as well as the production of new sound during the performance, as is the case during music improvisation