Aki Onda: A Letter from Souls of The Dead
|When||10 Jul 2021 - 4 Sep 2021|
|Where||Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA)
15 NE Hancock Street
Portland, OR 97232
After decades of a twinned music/visual-art practice, A Letter from Souls of The Dead is the first major solo exhibition in the United States by Aki Onda. Commissioned by PICA and curated by Kristan Kennedy, Artistic Director and Curator of Visual Art, this exhibition will feature collections of found objects such as bells, surplus electronics, photographs, and old-fashioned slide projections. The soundtrack for this exhibition was composed by Onda in collaboration with New Yorked-based vocalist Charmaine Lee and New Haven-based musician Zach Rowden.
A Letter from Souls of The Dead will also feature an installation of 60 enlarged prints, 50 broken tape recorders, and a suspended print piece, jointly titled “Collage on Cassettes.” These works chronicle Onda’s field recordings which over the years have served as a sonic diary, mimicking and manipulating memory over time. This chorus of analog media will create tangible and energetic relationships across PICA’s warehouse space forming a kinship between the living and the dead, the functional and the broken, the artist and the audience. According to Onda, collecting is “an extension of my cassette practice to expand the realm of reminiscence beyond my territory and consciousness — a sort of collective consciousness in order to reach out to something universal.” A Letter from Souls of The Dead is a physical embodiment and energetic transmitter for memories and souls past, present, and future.
A Letter from Souls of The Dead will be presented at PICA from July 10, 2021, to September 4, 2021. On the opening day of the exhibition Saturday, July 10, there will be intermittent performances by Aki Onda and Portland-based sound artist Marcus Fischer. These performances will serve to both activate the objects and acknowledge the trauma of the past year, in the US and globally.
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