The space of sound created by Carlito Carvalhosa’s Sum of Days on exhibit at MoMA until November 14, 2011 is a sublime environment of billowing white fabric and the white noise of the atrium reflected upon itself. The psuedo-boundaries established by the translucent material that hang from the ceiling create a confined space of light and ambient sound – fleeting and ephemeral. Upon entering the exhibit, you pass an array of speakers affixed to the wall. They are emitting a low hum – the sound of voices and echoes that are distant, yet recognizable. It is unclear at first from where these sounds are originating, but behind the fabric bodies are drifting in and out of view. The curtains, which are constantly swaying, direct you in an ellipse to the center of the space where a single microphone hangs, picking up the noise within the exhibit and sending them to the dozens of speakers that hang at intervals inside the curtains, along the walls of the exhibit, and up through the galleries at the mezzanine levels that overlook the atrium.
The essential components of space: boundary, light, sound and opacity are striped to a minimum in Carvalhosa’s design. One can argue that this space pushes its own limits – it pulls itself inside out, revealing itself through light and transparency but keeping enough of a mystery to make you wander through the space.
From MoMa: Musical performances, each 60 to 90 minutes long, take place weekly within the installation between September 8 and November 10. The performers are Lisa Bielawa, David Crowell, Jon Gibson, Philip Glass, Carla Kihlstedt, Michael Riesman, Mick Rossi, and Andrew Sterman. Times are announced via MoMA’s Twitter account (@MuseumModernArt) on the day of the event.