NOISE at the Black Lodge
Right now, at the Black Lodge in Seattle, there is a red curtain hanging down from a stairway that runs along the main hallway. This curtain sets apart the small wedge-shaped space underneath the stairs, turning it into a tiny theater complete with two antique movie theater seats. Hazy drone music perfumes the space like sonic incense.
Take a seat, and you’ll find yourself looking into space below the stairs, which has been filled with tea lights, tree branches, and a television set. Colored lights flash behind the television, illuminating the branches from slightly different angles and casting shadows that fill the tiny room. On screen, a pair of chairs appear to be hovering above a geometric rug in a room with flashing lights, creating a parallel universe to the room you’re in. Over time, a pair of figures appear, male and female, watching you watch them through geometric headdresses that cover the top half of their faces. First they are playing a keyboard and a guitar. Then they disappear, and the screen is filled with digitized static. They reappear, this time in poses that seem vaguely art historical, perhaps borrowed from Ingres or Poussin. The overall vibe is Lynchian, masterfully evoking the Black Lodge’s spooky namesake.
The figures are Rena Bussinger and Aubrey Nehring, but I knew it was their piece before they appeared because I recognized the furniture. (Aubrey is the founder of Portable Shrines; I have worked with Aubrey and Rena on events such as Escalator Fest and recently collaborated with Rena on the installation SPACE d’OM for ONN/OF Festival.) Their installation is one of the myriad works of art currently illuminating the corridors of the DIY performance space for NOISE, a multimedia exhibition co-curated by artist Margot Bird and musician Nils Petersen.
NOISE is a two-night event that continues this evening with performances by Adi Maya (members of Nils’s band Rose Windows), Geist & the Sacred Ensemble, and an improvised set by Midday Veil. There are both early and late versions of the event, beginning at 5:30 pm. (Facebook invite with full info here, exhibition website with profiles of all participating artists here.)