Camille Norment: Untitled (red flame)

November 15, 2019–January 5, 2020

Opening Reception: Friday, November 15, 6-8pm | Logan Center Gallery

Camille Norment uses both harmony and dissonance as a lens to investigate social and political histories. The U.S.-born, Oslo-based artist has coined the term “cultural psychoacoustics” to describe the way in which she activates and explores various soundscapes in relationship to their cultural contexts and dimensions of public life. Her most recent work is an expansive, ongoing project entitled Untitled (Flame) that takes shape across the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts and the Renaissance Society, envisioned respectively as red flame and blue heat.

At the Logan Center Gallery, Norment presents Untitled (red flame), a newly-commissioned, immersive sound-based installation, which brings together a collection of voices with aspects of sonic interference. The work grows out of a series of workshops in which the artist engaged Chicago residents. Connecting the history of sonic innovation and political agency in the city, the sessions addressed the “performative voice,” vocal expressions that aim toward action. Taking these sessions as a starting point, Norment subjected the recordings to further abstractions and amplifications. The resulting soundscape fills the space of the Logan Center Gallery and evokes fire—both the gentle crackle of a small flame and the menacing roar of a wildfire—in recognition of the element’s destructive potential as well as its necessity for renewal. In the process, the project also brings to mind various historical references, including the Great Chicago Fire and the riots that swept the city during the 1960s. In weaving together two fundamental elements of human life—fire and speech—Norment explores the promise and force of the voice itself, using its sonic qualities as a way to engender solidarity, agency, and resistance.

In addition to the exhibition at the Logan Center Gallery, a performance at the Renaissance Society will be presented on December 14, 2019, with staging for the performance open to the public during the week.

Camille Norment: Untitled (red flame) is presented by Logan Center Exhibitions and curated by Yesomi Umolu, Director & Curator with Katja Rivera, Assistant Curator and Alyssa Brubaker, Exhibitions Manager. This exhibition is made possible by support from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, The Office of Contemporary Art in Norway, The Reva and David Logan Foundation, and friends of the Logan Center. Untitled (Flame) is co-presented with The Renaissance Society.