At the Gates of the Music Palace is a solo exhibition by Alex Cecchetti. Cecchetti’s multi-disciplinary practice explores the senses through the experiential nature of his work. His exhibition brings together performance, drawing, painting, sculpture and sound installation. At the Gates of the Music Palace is conceived as a 3-dimensional music concert; the different sound pieces will be set in order to respond and resonate to each other and constitute a kind of composition. Music Palace exploits the logic of exhibitions to create an environment that accompanies the spectator in an unexpected sensory pathway.

There are polarities within his work where drawings become ethereal sounds and both presence and absence emerge. The slippage in his work is where the poetics reside and the narratives become material. In its regard one becomes at once both the performer and the viewer; this playful exchange is what titillates and remains an integral part of his work. This emphasis in positioning the viewer as central to the work has led Cecchetti to create space for the imagination where works can be experienced in a multitude of ways and we become part of a wider play.

Alex Cecchetti Biography

Alex Cecchetti (1977-2014) was an artist, a poet, and a choreographer. Difficult to classify, his work can be considered as the art of the un-representable: tactile and poetic, aesthetic and materialistic, it creates mental and physical environments in which the spectators are often part of the work. Invited to walk backwards into a garden, to sleep at the sound of a choir singing in the deep of the ocean, or taking dance class from stones and staircases, the spectators are no longer defined to the role of the beholder. The artist died for the first time in 2014 for unknown reasons, though he keeps producing new works, presenting new performances and publishing new poems.

Alex Cecchetti’s work has been exhibited extensively internationally, and recent solo exhibitions include: At the Gate of the Music Palace, Spike Island, Bristol, UK and Void, Derry, Ireland (all 2018). Tamam Shud at La Ferme du Buisson, Noisiel, France and Centre For Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw, Poland; Cetaceans at Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin, Italy (all 2017); The Printing House of Hell, Kusntraum, London, UK (2015); Comrades of fear and wonder at Contemporary Art Centre (CAC), Vilnius, Lithuania (2012). Cecchetti’s performances have been presented at venues including Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2017); Parades, Palais De La Découverte, FIAC 2016, Paris and Playground Festival, M Leuven & STUK, Leuven, Belgium (2016); Serpentine Galleries, London (2015); Serralves Foundation, Porto, (2014), South London Gallery (2013) and MAXXI museum, Rome (2012). He has recently published a new novel Tamam Shud with Sternberg press.

Daryl Martin Biography

Daryl Martin is a synesthetic multi-instrumentalist composer and performer based in Derry-Londonderry. He is perhaps better known by his moniker ‘Porphyry’, under which he explores the myths and philosophies of ancient peoples through the medium of experimental music and performance art.

Since earning a Bachelor’s in Music from Queen’s University Belfast in 2015, Martin has worked extensively as a solo artist and in collaboration with Northern Irish musicians, performing across the UK, Canada and United States. After the success of his first installation Wildflowers of Creggan in late 2017, Martin’s interest has been focused on collaborative multimedia works.

Additional Events

If all matter jiggles, the universe is an orchestra: an artist-led tour of At the Gates of the Music Palace.

The exhibition will be punctuated by a unique concert featuring a synesthetic musician who will transform paintings by Alex Cecchetti into a work for the piano and a dancer who will activate the exhibition and guide viewers through choreographic experiences devised by the artist.

For more about Alex’s work please visit his website.

Download the Press Release below:

Alex Cecchetti Press Release

Artist’s talk ‘if all matter jiggles, the universe is an orchestra’ by Alex Cecchetti


This exhibition is presented in collaboration with Spike Island and Void Gallery.

This exhibition is kindly supported by The Elephant Trust, the French Embassy Ireland, Institute Francais, Dulux.

Void Gallery is supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Derry City and Strabane District Council, The Community Foundation for Northern Ireland, John Thaw Foundation, with events sponsored by Northbound Brewery.

Installation photographs courtesy of Tansy Cowley.