Music Box

Kim Dickey
Mark Garry
Ásdis Sif Gunnarsdóttir
Nathan Hall
Jess Langley
Nicole Pietrantoni
Laura Shill

Curated by Nathan Hall

July 25 — August 22, 2015

Opening Reception
Saturday, July 25, 2015

View Exhibition Details

<p><span class="name">Nicole Pietrantoni </span><br><em>No Reason to Panic</em><span class='media'>Paper boxes, electronics</span>2015<br></p>
<p><span class="name">Mark Garry</span><br><em>After Summer</em><span class='media'>Componium, paper</span>2015<br></p>
<p><em>Grotto (Box with the Sound of its own Making)</em><span class='media'>Glazed terracotta, electronics</span>2015<br></p>
<p><span class="name">Ásdís Sif Gunnarsdóttir</span><br><em>Cadmium Red</em><span class='media'>Video, box</span>2015<br></p>
<p><span class="name">Jessica Langley</span><br><em>Salud, Secco</em><span class='media'>Stucco, pump, LEDs, acrylic, electronics</span>2015<br></p>
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Nicole Pietrantoni
No Reason to PanicPaper boxes, electronics2015

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Mark Garry
After SummerComponium, paper2015

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Grotto (Box with the Sound of its own Making)Glazed terracotta, electronics2015

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Ásdís Sif Gunnarsdóttir
Cadmium RedVideo, box2015

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Jessica Langley
Salud, SeccoStucco, pump, LEDs, acrylic, electronics2015

Gildar Gallery is pleased to present Music Box, an exhibition running from July 24 to August 22, 2015 featuring a series of collaborations between sound artist and composer Nathan Hall and seven visual artists as well as a new site-influenced work by Hall in the gallery’s back room. As the artist describes, activated sound becomes the focus of this audible display:
The music box in broad terms is an object created for an intimate listening experience. It is imbued with ideas of domesticity, intimacy, experience, and touch. Even the smallest musical jewelry box invites opening, which leads to the discovery of the music and contents inside. There exists an inner world of the music box, of hidden secrets and private lives through listening to the music inside or turning a crank. The music box can be a whole universe, drawing us in from our more public outside worlds.


As a specific object the music box has its origins in mechanical musical instruments of the 19th century. The iPod of its time, it provided portable popular music from family parlor sing-alongs to pocket watches. Music boxes reproduced and reinterpreted trendy popular songs and classical music through a spinning metal disc or a rotating pin-covered barrel. The success of the recording technology and commercial music caused music boxes to decline severely in production, though small jewelry boxes and wind-up toys continue to this day. Nevertheless, music boxes have remained a part of today’s collective conscious pervading popular culture cropping up in over 40 films symbolizing a variety of moods from nostalgia to suspense.

There is great potential for artists to apply their own aesthetics to music boxes, creating new works for the 21st century. As early inventors re-envisioned music production for the homes and parlors of 1914, contemporary artists have at their disposal mechanical and digital technologies, sculpture, fabrication, printmaking, and other media to re-invent the image of the music box. Similarly, the world of music has also broadened into popular, classical, and experimental realms, and everywhere in between. No longer is the music box confined to a preset number of well-known tunes. These music boxes join sound and music with the contemporary art object, to give them new lives.


Selected Works

  • Nicole Pietrantoni
    No Reason to PanicPaper boxes, electronics2015

  • Mark Garry
    After SummerComponium, paper2015

  • Grotto (Box with the Sound of its own Making)Glazed terracotta, electronics2015

  • Ásdís Sif Gunnarsdóttir
    Cadmium RedVideo, box2015

  • Jessica Langley
    Salud, SeccoStucco, pump, LEDs, acrylic, electronics2015