Alex Cecchetti jumping in the air to draw a line across a plain white wall. Promotional image used for solo exhibition At the Gates of the Music Palace by Alex Cecchetti at Void Gallery, Derry, 2018. Curated by Mary Cremin

Alex Cecchetti

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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 Biography

 

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.

 

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

 

Acknowledgements

 

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.

 

Alex Cecchetti exhibition funder logos

 

Alex Cecchetti Press Release

Void Engage Events

At the Gates of the Music Palace was a very popular show, with 400 visitors, and over 20 tours, workshops, artist’s tours, presentations, in conversations, as well as an off-site extravaganza for Culture Night 2018 on the Walker Plinth, Derry Walls.

Artist filmmaker Mara Cavalli recorded Alex’s artist’s tour ‘If all matter jiggles, the universe is an orchestra’. You can watch the video here.

 

Opening events

 

We opened the exhibition with an artist’s tour and a formal reception. Artist Alex Cecchetti brought eager gallery visitors around the show, explaining – and demonstrating, with the help of Echo Echo Dance Theatre member Zoe Ramsey – the core themes behind his exhibition.

Synesthetic musician Daryl Martin presented his unique musical composition selected from over 50 of Alex’s paintings.

 

School Groups, Tours, and Family Workshops

 

We welcomed several school and community groups from Moville Community College, The Playtrail, Foyle International, and Oak Grove Primary School. Each group responded positively to the exhibition and its interactive elements.

Director and curator of the exhibition Mary Cremin also led two Director’s Tours.

 

End of Summer Event

 

Friday 31st August, 6:30 – 8pm

 

We celebrated the end of summer with an evening of talks and performances. Musician Darryl Martin and dancer Zoe Ramsey return to Void to activate Alex Cecchetti’s exhibition; Daryl discussed the proces of composing music from Alex’s 500,000 Azaleas, and Zoe activated the work Music Hall.

 

Family Workshop

Saturday 15th September, 2 – 4pm

 

Families joined artist facilitator Karen Cassidy for a workshop based on the exhibition. Taking Alex Cecchettis work 500,00 Azaleas as inspiration, Karen worked with the participants to explore ink blending and separation, creating their very own work of art.

 

Culture Night – The Astronomic Weather Choir by Alex Cecchetti

 

Friday 21st September

Off-Site: Walker Plinth, Derry City Walls

7pm – 7.40pm: The Astronomic Weather Choir by Alex Cecchetti

 

We had a truly unique Culture Night this year as Alex Cecchetti brought The Astronomic Weather Choir here to Derry. From the Walker Plinth, Alex conducted the Voices of the Foyle – Glórtha an Fheabail to sing the weather! From the clouds in the sky to the breeze on top of the trees, from the celestial movement of the moon to the flickering appearing of the first stars of the evening, the choir sang atmospheric events like rain and fog and also astronomical events that happened in front of them, such as the movements of astral objects.

In association with The Siege Museum and Derry 400.

 

Artist Bio:

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, present new performances and publish new poems.

 

Choir Bio:

Voices of The Foyle – Glórtha an Fheabhail are a mixed voice, contemporary choir based in a Derry.  Its members are all local, home grown talent from Derry & Donegal. The choir were formed initially as a one-off project based Christmas event back in 2014 and have gone from strength to strength year-on-year. The choir perform regularly at local events, working closely with Derry City &  Strabane District Council and have been invited by the Irish Consulate to perform in Boston as part of the St Patrick’s Day Celebrations 2019.

 

The choir are under direction of Derry born musician, Ruth McPhillips.  Ruth studied at Ulster University, Magee Campus and obtained her music degree & masters degree in performance and now runs her own music business as a singer, tutor & musical director.

 

On-Site – Void Gallery

8pm – 9pm: Children’s Treasure Trail

 

Back at Void, we had a Children’s Treasure Trail, where kids were invited to explore the exhibition.

We had live performances by synesthetic musician Daryl Martin as he played Alex Cecchetti’s work 500,00 Azaleas and dancer Zoe Ramsey as she activated the work Music Hall.

 

Make Your Own Musical Instrument – Workshop with Ed Devane

Saturday 22nd September, 2 – 4pm

 

Our last event of the exhibition was with artist Ed Devane where participants were shown how to create their very own sound and light instrument, inspired by the work Music Palace by Alex Cecchetti.

In this fascinating workshop, participants built and assembled an instrument from paper, card and electronics to create a unique musical instrument.
Primary School Tours

 

Our next exhibition is a solo show by artist filmmaker Helen Cammock, The Long Note, which will focus on the role of women in the civil rights movement in Derry.  If you would like to book a tour, please email engage@derryvoid.com or call 028 7130 8080.

Please stay tuned for more Void Engage events which will be run in support of the exhibition.

 

Thank you to everyone who attended. You can read more about Alex’s practice through the link below:

 

Alex Cecchetti

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