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  • Provenance

    Maureen Paley, London

  • Exhibited

    London, Maureen Paley Gallery, Banks Violette, 2 June – 23 July 2006; London, Royal Academy of Arts, USA Today, 6 October – 4 November 2006

  • Literature

    USA Today, exh. cat., The Royal Academy, London, 2006, pp. 372–73; Shape of Things to Come, Saatchi Gallery, London, 2008, pp. 568–69 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    Exploring the dark beauty of America’s subcultures, SunnO)))/(Repeater) Decay/Coma takes as its origin a performance by the cult drone rock band SunnO))). In the performance, the band allowed the audience to hear but not to see. Violette’s installation provides the visual documentation of the event. The band’s equipment is cast in salt, as if encased by a bitter, salt-infused wind, creating an apocalyptic moment frozen in time. The crystalline stillness is conjured up by the instruments as they lay unused on plinths, intruded upon by ebony shards piled in the centre of the semicircular ensemble. This is representative of the band’s performance, in which the lead singer was encased in a black coffin – now destroyed, it signifies an ominous aftermath with ghostly conviction.
    To launch the show of this work at Maureen Paley, Violette took the band’s teasing performance one step further by not admitting the audience into the gallery at all. Instead they were left to queue round the block only able to hear a shuddering drone from within the gallery building. Violette claimed that if he had let the audience see the performance without understanding them, theconcept would have become completely fetishized; instead people just had this experience separated from the identifier. Once inside, viewers were left to contemplate the aftermath, where the cold surfaces taunted their failure to witness the show, and so being truly relegated to the status of outsider. But of course this was always Violette’s intention – to create a melancholy sense of transience between the realms of life and death.


SunnO))) - (Repeater) Decay/Coma

Steel, hardware, plywood, paint, fibreglass, tinted epoxy, salt, resin.
Dimensions variable.
This work is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity.

£200,000 - 300,000 

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

13 October 2010