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Pace Galleries

David Byrne & Mala Gaonkar

Tight Spot

Tight Spot, 2011. cold air inflatable with audio , 19' 6" x 48' x 48' (594.4 cm x 1,463 cm x 1,463 cm).

Tight Spot, 2011. cold air inflatable with audio , 19' 6" x 48' x 48' (594.4 cm x 1,463 cm x 1,463 cm).

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About David Byrne & Mala Gaonkar

David Byrne is co-founder of the influential and acclaimed band Talking Heads. As a solo artist, his career has been prolific and wide-ranging. He has written and directed feature films, exhibited visual art for decades and published both fiction and non-fiction writing to great acclaim.

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Press Release

  • David Byrne: Tight Spot
    The Pace Gallery is pleased to announce that a new site-specific installation by David Byrne will be on view for two weeks under the High Line at 508 West 25th Street, inaugurating a space recently acquired by the gallery. Tight Spot, a 48-by-20-foot inflatable terrestrial globe will be on view from September 16 through October 1, 2011, with a public reception on Thursday, September 15 from 6 to 8 p.m. The globe, based on the type used in primary schools, is enlarged and wedged within the confines of the space, becoming deliberately distorted in the process. Byrne imagined the pastel map we associate with childhood: “a wholly unrealistic world, a world of somewhat arbitrary political units, not a planet of clouds, deep blue oceans, beige deserts and swaths of green jungle.” However, like the world around us, Byrne’s globe is subject to both the elements and human presence. A low-frequency vibration will emanate from speakers placed deep within the globe. The sound is meant to be heard from the surrounding streets and elevated park, enticing passersby to discover the installation. “I knew what I thought that sound should be, and rather than using instruments, synthesizers or samplers to make the sounds that I imagined, I simply made them with my voice,” said Byrne. “It was the easiest and fastest way of creating what I was hearing in my head. I filtered and processed my voice so that it wasn’t recognizable.” The combination of sonic and visual elements as part of a unique work of art was also integral to the artist’s acclaimed 2008 installation Playing the Building. Commissioned by Creative Time and installed at the Battery Maritime Building in Lower Manhattan, Playing the Building was an interactive sound installation in which the infrastructure and physical plant of the building were converted into a giant musical instrument. Devices attached to the building’s interior structure—including metal beams, pillars, and heating and water pipes—were activated by wind, vibration, and striking that caused the interior to shift, resonate, and oscillate, resulting in an unconventional symphony. Playing the Building has also been installed at Roadhouse, London (2009), and Färgfabriken in Stockholm, Sweden (2005). Byrne has been named a juror for the 68th Venice International Film Festival, which will run from August 31 through September 10, 2011. He has also toured North America in 2010 and Latin America in 2011, curating and participating in travelling panel discussions about “Bikes, Cities and the Future of Getting Around,” in which he discusses his book Bicycle Diaries (Viking/Penguin, 2009), a personal account of cycling around major cities throughout the world, which has been translated into multiple languages. Byrne is currently at work on a new book, How Music Works, slated for publication in 2012, and is developing the theatrical release of “Here Lies Love,” the story of Imelda Marcos, with New York City’s Public Theater for 2012–13. Co-founder of the innovative rock group Talking Heads (1974–91), David Byrne (b. 1952) is a musician, artist, writer, filmmaker and activist. He has been involved with visual art and design since studying at the Rhode Island School of Design and the Maryland Institute College of Art. Byrne is recognized for his innate ability to create extraordinary visual and sensory experiences out of ordinary and mundane materials, elevating the most banal of subjects to a high art form. Byrne has exhibited his work since the mid-1990s in major solo shows and public art projects around the world. His multimedia art has also provided the material for several books published by the artist in recent years, including Arboretum (McSweeney’s, 2006); Envisioning Emotional Epistemological Information (Steidl/PaceMacGill, 2003); David Byrne Asks You: What is It? (Smart Art Press Pinspot # 13, 2002); The New Sins (McSweeney’s, 2001); Your Action World (Chronicle Books, 1998); and Strange Ritual (Chronicle Books, 1995). In 2008, Byrne—an avid bicyclist for more than 30 years—partnered with The Pace Gallery and New York City’s Department of Transportation to permanently install a series of bike racks of his own design around Manhattan and Brooklyn. For more information about David Byrne: Tight Spot, please contact the Public Relations department of The Pace Gallery at 212.421.8987. For general inquiries, please email info2@thepacegallery.com; for reproduction requests, email reprorequest@thepacegallery.com.
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News

You could hear David Byrne’s installation Tight Spot—which opened yesterday beneath the High Line next door to The Pace Gallery’s 25th Street branch—long before you saw it. The piece is a large inflatable globe, crammed beneath the old re-appropriated train track in a small enclave off the street. The artist and former Talking Head recorded his voice and processed it so that, played through speakers, it rumbled and echoed, sounding like bombs hitting or distant battle drumming. The sound filled t

After the Pace Gallery’s Marc Glimcher completed his recent purchase of prime real estate beneath the High Line between West 24th and 25th streets—it abuts one of Pace’s two branches on 25th Street—he faced a dilemma: what to do with the empty space before construction began on the new gallery he plans to open there in fall 2012? “I thought, O.K., we need the old demolition party, or something like that,” Mr. Glimcher, Pace’s president, told The Observer. But then Mr. Glimcher’s wife, Andrea, th

Starting on the evening of September 15, you’ll hear it as you approach West 25th Street, coming from under the High Line: womp, womp womp. It’s a little bit fore­boding—the sort of low-­frequency pulsations that signal zombies in movies and sent Jodie Foster alien-hunting in Contact. It plays on a loop, intercut with other baritone noises. It’s not a soundtrack that’s characteristic of the galleries, car-repair shops, and luxury condos of West Chelsea (though there are lots of subwoofer-equipped