© Nick Laessing

Eidophone 1, performed by Esmeralda Conde Ruiz, 2006
steel and latex membrane

Nick Laessing

For his first exhibition at ARQUEBUSE, Nick Laessing will construct a site-specific harmonograph based on the dimensions of the gallery space, and exhibit an Eidophone in the downstairs "La Cabine" space. This will become the centerpiece of a "Voice Figures" performance by the vocalist and project collaborator Esmeralda Conde Ruiz on the evening on Thursday 5 July.

Laessing searches for answers to unproven scientific phenomena, such as the possibility of free energy, and the harmonics that exist in the world at large. For example, in 2004 Laessing constructed The place of the material world in the universe is that of an exquisitely beautiful precipitate or varied cloud-work in the universal aether, essentially a "free energy" generator based on the US patent no.6545444 B2, filed in 2003 by the inventor John Bedini. Constructed in clear Perspex and brass, it is a machine built for utopic possibilities, claiming the ability to charge a bank of batteries by supplying more power to the batteries than is required to keep it running.

For this exhibition Nick will construct a site-specific harmonograph, extrapolated from the 19th century invention that formed the basis of modern musical harmonic theory, and which supported Pythagoras' discovery 2500 years ago that all nature consists of harmony arising from certain simple numbers. Several pendulums will be set within a framework of wooden beams and joists, placed according to the gallery's architectural space. Laessing's intricate installation will produce graphite drawings specific to the harmonics of the space, and the moment in time when it was made. This will be the second in what the artist hopes to become a series: the first mapped his studio in 2006.

In "Voice Figures" Laessing draws on the endeavors of Margaret Watts Hughes, who in 1885 invented the eidophone to translate the vibrations of her voice into patterns on a glycerin-coated elastic membrane. Sound is simply a disturbance of mechanical energy, and in each performance the projection of the voice into the instrument causes an aural disturbance. On hitting certain notes and harmonies, the powder or liquid placed on the latex surface is agitated into pronounced, almost magical, patterns and images. In Laessing's Eidophone domestic plastic tubing, steel tripods and latex membranes are combined to create a performative sculpture on which various materials in powder and liquid form are experimented with as an investigation into this phenomena.

Nick Laessing's investigations and constructions hint at the potentialities of our world, and resuscitates utopian possibilities.

Born London, 1973 Laessing now lives and works in Berlin, and has had two solo exhibitions at Mary Mary, Glasgow (2005), and Center, Berlin (2005), as well as most recently a two-man exhibition with Athanasios Argianas at Cell project space, London, curated by Milika Muritu (2007). Other exhibitions and performances have been held at K3, Zurich (2007); Münz Salon, Berlin (2006); Castlefield Gallery, Manchester (2005); Kunstlerhausbethanian, Berlin (2005); Herzliya Museum of Art, Israel (2002); The Lowry, Manchester (2002); and New Contemporaries, Liverpool and London (1999). As a member of the collaborative group HobbypopMUSEUM, Laessing has also exhibited at Galerie Ghislaine Hussenot, Paris (2003); Munich Kammerspiele, Munich (2002); New Langton Arts, San Francisco (2001); Vilma Gold.

Exhibition 5 July – 11 August 2007

Gallery hours Tues-Fri 2 - 7 pm, Sat 11 am - 5 pm,
and by appointment

rue de l'Arquebuse 14
CH-1204 Geneva
Telephone +41(0)22 807 04 40
Fax +41(0)22 807 04 41
Email info@arquebusegalerie.com