City Gallery City Gallery Wellington

Aaron Lister Listens to On Reflection 

6 September, 2018

See the Patrick Pound exhibition.

Hear the soundtrack.

Patrick Pound: On Reflection is an exhibition about looking. Pound trawls eBay and other online sources for images and items to expand his collections. Each collection is based on a single idea: ‘wind blowing left’, ‘wind blowing right’, ‘the photographer’s shadow’, etc. There are plenty of existing images to fit these categories. He doesn’t need to make more. His ‘decisive moment’ comes when he pushes the ‘buy now’ button. Pound then makes exhibitions from his collections, setting up connections between like and unlike that wait to be recognised by the viewer. His shows are attended gasps of realisation as the fog clears and the puzzle resolves itself for the viewer—their decisive moment.

Pound also lets us listen. He is drawn to photos that suggest sound, teasing out our capacity to ‘hear’ them. It’s part of the game, but also an extension of Pound’s wider investigation into the historical effects of photography. Photo-historian David Campany argues that photography’s ‘truth-telling’ capacity relies on sound—the click of the shutter serving as some sort of proof that a photo has been taken. The unnecessary mimicking of this sound in digital cameras and mobile phones suggests an ongoing desire for this audio confirmation.*

Of all Pound’s collections, Listen to the Music most explicitly tests the relationship between photography and sound. It mainly consists of photos of people listening to music or of objects that make it—or so we are led to believe. It’s impossible to prove that this is the case. The dancers and musicians are presumably all ears, but what about those people who just happen to be in a room with sound-making objects? What if the stereos were turned off, the instruments unplugged? The photos could be records of the absence of sound as much as its presence. Suddenly, it’s hard not to look with suspicion at the people with open books in neighbouring collection, The Readers. Who is to say that they were not listening far more intently than they were reading at the moment the photograph was taken? Pound’s collections often dissolve their own boundaries in this way.

In the wake of seeing Listen to the Music, everything in On Reflection seems potentially ‘sound full’. The noisiest by far must be Drive by En Passant—a collection of photographs of cars selected and arranged to suggest the movement of a car both ways—there are going-left and going-right versions. Fetishistic Ballardian car/body analogies are invoked. There’s also an echo of the futurist Giacomo Balla’s efforts to capture in painting the roar of the car as it races past. Like Balla, Pound employs a collage-like technique to make sound and movement out of supposedly mute and static mediums.

Pound’s ‘silent’ exhibition On Reflection even has a 214-song, thirteen-and-a-half-hour-long soundtrack. Each song somehow relates either to photography or to the specific collections represented. As is typical with Pound, the tropes quickly pile up. There is what might be called the ‘crying into my photograph’ song group, where photos carry the charge of lost relationships and experiences. These go from the ridiculous (Nickelback opening up a sentimental vein by singing to or through ‘a photo album spread out on my bedroom floor’) to the sublime (Johnny Cash singing live at Folsom Prison from the perspective of an inmate just wanting to hold a photo of his mother). We don’t know if he ever got his photo. Maybe Pound found it on eBay decades later. There are also songs about shadows, doppelgängers, photographic memory, and aperture settings; there are witnessing songs, songs that mirror themselves through use of repeating and doubling structuring devices, and duets. Just when you think it is getting too low-brow, Pound adds all three movements from Steve Reich’s minimalist composition Electric Counter Point (‘Fast’, ‘Slow’, and ‘Fast’). Reich’s musical pointillism forms part of Pound’s The Point of Everything collection on the soundtrack and in the exhibition, along with a Seurat rip-off pointillist painting, a vinyl copy of the Zabriskie Point soundtrack, and, yes, the Pointer Sisters, who appear in both photographic and audio form.

This is an exhibition to be listened to as well as seen. We will play the soundtrack inside the exhibition during our monthly Open Late events (starting on 6 September). It can also be accessed via Spotify and enjoyed while inside the exhibition, outside the exhibition, or at your leisure.

—Aaron Lister, Curator

* David Campany, ‘Click! The Sound of Photography’, Source, 2016, http://davidcampany.com/click/.

 

Listen to the soundtrack.

 

The Palindrome Playlist

Neil Young, ‘Distant Camera’

Blondie, ‘Picture This’

Wilco, ‘Kamera’

Belle and Sebastian, ‘Photo Jenny’

The Kinks, ‘People Take Pictures of Each Other’

Depeche Mode, ‘A Photograph of You’

Morrissey, ‘The Harsh Truth of the Camera Eye’

Paul Simon, ‘Kodachrome’

Bishop Allen, ‘Click, Click, Click, Click’

Damon Albarn, ‘Photographs (You Are Taking Now)’

Siouxsie and the Banshees, ‘Red Light’ 

Death Cab for Cutie, ‘Photobooth’

The Cure, ‘Pictures of You’

Ed Sheeran, ‘Photograph’

Ringo Starr, ‘Photograph’

REM, ‘Photograph’

Nickelback, ‘Photograph’

Johnny Cash, ‘Send a Picture of Mother’

Leif Vollebekk, ‘Photographer Friend’

Nico, ‘Camera Obscura’

Heather Nova, ‘Doubled Up’

B-Side, ‘Pair’

Frankie Rose, ‘Pair of Wings’

Brian Eno, ‘Reflection’

Bobby Womack, ‘Dayglo Reflection’

Joep Beving, ‘Reflection 2’

Max Richter, ‘On Reflection’

London Music Works, ‘Reflection (Instrumental)’

Midnite String Quartet, ‘Reflection (Mulan)’

Garth Stevenson, ‘Reflection’

The Cure, ‘A Reflection’

Future Islands, ‘Shadows’

Joy Division, ‘Shadowplay’

Scott Hamilton, ‘The Shadow of Your Smile’

Mike Oldfield, ‘Moonlight Shadow’

Martin Luke Brown, ‘Shadow and Light’

Chromatics, ‘Shadow’

Andy Gibb, ‘Shadow Dancing’

Parquet Courts, ‘Uncast Shadow of a Southern Myth’

Philip Wesley, ‘Light and Shadow’

Creedence Clearwater Revival, ‘Tombstone Shadow’

El Michels Affair, ‘Shadow Boxing’

Julie London, ‘Me and My Shadow’

Howard Shore, ‘The Shadow of the Past’

Dr. Dog, ‘Shadow People’

David Bowie, ‘Shadow Man’

Ciggie Witch, ‘Shadow’

Grouper, ‘Being Her Shadow’

Ardyn, ‘Shadow Light’

Bleachers, ‘Shadow’

Chris Robinson Brotherhood, ‘Shadow Cosmos’

Youth Group, ‘Shadowland’

David Sylvian, ‘Shadowland’

Bob Fink, ‘Shadowland’

Dick Hyman, ‘Shadowland’

Network Music Ensemble, ‘Shadowland’

Count Basie, ‘Sent for You Yesterday’

Louis Jordan, ‘Is You Is or Is You Ain’t (My Baby)’

Talking Heads, ‘Road to Nowhere’

Percy Sledge, ‘The Dark End of the Street’

The Chills, ‘Don’t Be; Memory’

Joy Division, ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’

John Buzon Trio, ‘Mr. Ghost Goes to Town’

Elvis Presley, ‘Return to Sender’

Count Basie, ‘Don’t You Miss Your Baby’

The Cure, ‘Other Voices’

The Cure, ‘Inbetween Days’

Elmore James, ‘Standing at the Crossroads’

The Jam, ‘Ghosts’

The Rolling Stones, ‘Not Fade Away’

James Taylor, ‘You’ve Got a Friend’

Julie London, ‘There Will Never Be Another You’

Johnny Cash, ‘I Still Miss Someone’

Nick Drake, ‘Things behind the Sun’

Lalo Schifrin, ‘Broken Mirrors’

The Milk Carton Kids, ‘Shooting Shadows’

JJ Cale, ‘Call Me the Breeze’

The Milk Carton Kids, ‘Wish You Were Here’

Radiohead, ‘Where I End and You Begin’

The Smiths, ‘There Is a Light that Never Goes Out’

Radiohead, ‘There, There’

The Psychedelic Furs, ‘Imitation of Christ’

Oscar Peterson Trio, ‘Things Ain’t What They Used to Be’

Ron Sexsmith, ‘Ghost of a Chance’

Ron Sexsmith, ‘You Were There’

Simon and Garfunkel, ‘Bookends Theme’

Simon and Garfunkel, ‘The Sound of Silence’

Talking Heads, ‘Seen and not Seen’

Tom Petty, ‘Don’t Fade on Me’

George Shearing, ‘The Shadow of Your Smile’

Julie London, ‘You’d Be So Nice to Come Home to’

Dinah Washington, ‘Is You Is or Is You Ain’t My Baby’

Greg Vickers, ‘Not Quite There’

The National, ‘Anyone’s Ghost’

Birdy, ‘Ghost in the Wind’

The Velvet Underground, ‘I’ll Be Your Mirror’

America, ‘Here’

The Clean, ‘On Again/Off Again’

The Carpenters, ‘This Masquerade’

The Carpenters, ‘(I’m Caught Between) Goodbye and I Love You’

Peggy Lee, ‘Wish You Were Here’

Elvis Presley, ‘She’s Not You’

Elvis Presley, ‘I Forgot to Remember to Forget’

Gene Clark, ‘Echoes’

Lou Reed, ‘Vicious Circle’

Fleetwood Mac, ‘Go Your Own Way’

Randy Newman, ‘Living without You’

Lalo Schifrin, ‘The End of the Rainbow’

Duke Ellington, ‘Hero to Zero’

Neil Young, ‘Goin’ Back’

David Bowie, ‘Can You Hear Me’

Don McLean, ‘Crossroads’

Aretha Franklin, ‘I Wonder (Where Are You Tonight)’

Gene Clark, ‘Here without You’

JJ Cale, ‘I’ll Be There (If You Ever Want Me)’

Ron Sexsmith, ‘Before We Ever Met’

Van Morrison, ‘Cul De Sac’

Bob Dylan, ‘I Forgot More Than You’ll Ever Know’

Georgie Auld, ‘All or Nothing at All’

Joy Division, ‘I Remember Nothing’

Cocteau Twins, ‘Wax and Wane’

The Cure, ‘A Reflection’

Donovan, ‘Catch the Wind’

Simon and Garfunkel, ‘The Sound of Silence’

Donovan, ‘Catch the Wind’

The Seekers, ‘I’ll Never Find Another You’

Dave Van Ronk, ‘Hang Me, Oh Hang Me’

The Mamas and The Papas, ‘Dream a Little Dream of Me’

Steve Reich, ‘Electric Counterpoint: II. Slow’

Nina Simone, ‘Wild Is the Wind’

Nina Simone, ‘The Other Woman’

Joy Division, ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’

Tom Rush, ‘No Regrets’

J Mascis, ‘Fade into You’

Them, ‘Don’t Look Back’

Kurt Vile, ‘Wild Imagination’

Stealers Wheel, ‘Stuck in the Middle with You’

Gerry Rafferty, ‘Right Down the Line’

Blondie, ‘One Way or Another’

JJ Cale, ‘Call Me the Breeze’ 

Blossom Dearie, ‘I’m Shadowing You’

Dinah Washington, ‘Is You Is or Is You Ain’t My Baby’

Charlie Rich, ‘Pictures and Paintings’

Fleetwood Mac, ‘Never Going Back Again’

Simon and Garfunkel, ‘America’

Simon and Garfunkel, ‘Bookends Theme; Reprise’

Marianne Faithfull, ‘It’s All Over Now Baby Blue’

Sarah Jarosz, ‘Simple Twist of Fate’

JBM, ‘Opus 96, Plus Ultra’

Levon Helm, ‘Wide River to Cross’

Joy Division, ‘Disorder’

Nick Drake, ‘One of these Things First’

Van Morrison, ‘Into the Mystic’

Judy Collins, ‘Both Sides Now’

John Prine, ‘That’s the Way the World Goes Round’

Greg Brown, ‘Spring Wind’

Simon and Garfunkel, ‘Wednesday Morning, 3 AM’

Joni Mitchell, ‘The Circle Game’

Joni Mitchell, ‘Both Sides Now’

Jonathan Richman and The Modern Lovers, ‘The Sweeping Wind (Kwa Ti Feng)’

Jonathan Richman and The Modern Lovers, ‘I Hear You Calling Me’

Julie Byrne, ‘Follow My Voice’ 

Conor Oberst, ‘Double Life’

M. Ward, ‘Duet for Guitars 3’

The Clientele, ‘Reflections after Jane’

The Barr Brothers, ‘Even the Darkness Has Arms’

Bahamas, ‘Lost in The Light’

Badly Drawn Boy, ‘The Shining’

Elvis Presley, ‘Tomorrow Is a Long Time’

Leif Vollebekk, ‘Road to Venus’

The Milk Carton Kids, ‘Nothing Is Real’

The Milk Carton Kids, ‘All the Things…’

Bob Dylan, Señor (Tales of Yankee Power)’

Jennifer Warnes, ‘Ballad of the Runaway Horse’

Benny Goodman, ‘Where or When’

Eric Andersen, ‘Violets of Dawn’

My Bubba, ‘You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go’

Rod Stewart, ‘Mandolin Wind’

Frank Sinatra, ‘I Thought about You’

Fred Neil, ‘Everybody’s Talkin’’

Rickie Lee Jones, ‘We Belong Together’ 

Oasis, ‘Cast No Shadow’

Iggy Pop, ‘The Passenger’

John Lee Hooker, ‘Don’t Look Back’

Bob Dylan, ‘Simple Twist of Fate’

Richard ‘Groove’ Holmes, ‘Double Scale’

Count Basie, ‘Down for Double’

Young Marble Giants, ‘Wind in the Rigging’

Donovan, ‘Catch the Wind’

Silverchair, ‘Point of View’

The Creases, ‘Point’

The Voidz, ‘Pointlessness’

DB Boulevard, ‘Point of View’—Radio Edit’

Steve Reich, ‘Electric Counterpoint: III. Fast’

Steve Reich, ‘Tokyo/Vermont Counterpoint’

Steve Reich, ‘Electric Counterpoint: III’ 

Matt Costa, ‘Smeared Pointillist Painting’

Pointillist, ‘Won’t Stand for It’

Sigfrid Karg-Elert, ‘Suite Pointillistique in G Major, Op. 135: I. Leicht Bewegt’

Antje Lankafel, ‘Suite Pointillistique op. 135—I. Im Stil Einer Arabeske’

The Pointer Sisters, ‘Fire’

Harry Nilsson, ‘The Pointed Man—Narration’

Cliff Richard and The Shadows, ‘Pointed Toe Shoes’

Herb Geller, ‘Pointed Sails On Ganges’

Pointillist, ‘I Can Hear Your Distress Signal’