Raydale Dower: On Memory and Chance
Raydale Dower’s ad hoc art-cabaret speakeasy, Le Drapeau Noir, played with space at this year’s Glasgow International via a restless sonic excitability developed during his stint with post-Captain Beefheart hollerers Uncle John and Whitelock. His similarly all-embracing approach here makes an artwork out of an entire room.
On the false wall that forms the visual centrepiece is plastered the sort of star-studded frieze of 20th century pop-culture icons that playwright Joe Orton and his lover Kenneth Halliwell adorned their living room with. What looks like a retro-kitsch 1970s wall-clock is actually a set of unplayable piano keys, though the ticking comes from a trio of metronomes lined up in a domestic-sized take on Ligeti’s ‘Poème Symphonique (For 100 metronomes)’. This sets up an oddly soothing out of step rhythm accentuated by the overlapping loops and silences spilling through the mood-lit room next door. Here, a big old reel-to-reel tape machine sits as silent as the piano keys, making the recorded noises-off sound even more Zenned-out.
The recurring presence of Samuel Beckett is the giveaway. Dower’s collage resembles the playwright’s 25-second life-and-death miniature ‘Breath’, a sound installation by any other name. Like Beckett, Dower chances his arm in a profoundly entertaining display. (
The Changing Room, Stirling, until Sat 4 Dec