Soledad Arias: On Air, RH Gallery, New York, NY

Soledad Arias, ON AIR, 2012
White neon light
4.5 x 17.5 in | 11 x 45 cm
Edition: 3 + 2AP

May 1 – June 22, 2012

RH Gallery is pleased to present ON AIR, the first New York solo exhibition by Soledad Arias, opening May 1 and on view through June 22, 2012. RH Gallery will also present a solo presentation of Soledad Arias’ work at Pulse, New York, an art fair to be held at the Metropolitan Pavilion in New York and on view May 3-6, 2012. Soledad Arias’ text-based work explores the slippage of meanings in the aesthetic and literary reading of texts. The title of the exhibition, ON AIR, refers to live broadcasting relating to the dialog initiated by Arias’ work while also relating to the breath of air necessary for speech. The work explores the materiality of text as well as its poetic, visual and phonetic meanings within the context of dialogue and colloquial communication.

In four, thirty-three (2011), Arias references John Cage’s composition of the same name. Often referred to as Cage’s “silent” piece, the work consists only of environmental sounds for the duration of four minutes and thirty-three seconds. Arias translates her reading of Cage’s composition into a short straight line of white neon light. In phonetic neon [ha] (2012), she records and translates the exclamative “ha” into a white neon sign resembling a sound wave symbolizing the meaning of the word and its phonetic structure simultaneously.

In the series annotations (2011), Arias creates diagrams with stage directions for imaginary sets. By providing only the basic elements of a narrative, the viewer is left to construct a plot based on these cues. Drawn from spoken monologues which inspired annotations, Snippets (2009-2010) consists of graphic representations of the cadence of the artist’s voice.

In the acoustic wall series (2011-2012), Arias uses text to create an open-ended narrative. acoustic wall #1 (2011) is comprised of a series of phrases printed in vinyl such as “she whispers to herself,” “faint pause” or “gasps for air.” The phrases are arranged across a wall in order to direct viewers to construct their own narrative based on the rhythm and emotional content of the text. The series titled acoustic prints (2012) consists of extracted phrases from the acoustic wall series to produce a series of archival digital prints which combine and present the texts in yet another form.

Soledad Arias was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She currently lives and works in New York City. Arias was awarded a BFA and MFA from the School of Visual Arts, and she has exhibited her work in galleries and museums both nationally and abroad. Her work has been featured in numerous institutions including MoMA P.S.1 (New York), Institute of Contemporary Art (Philadelphia), Jersey City Museum (New Jersey), Socrates Sculpture Park (New York), El Museo del Barrio (New York) and The Bronx Museum of the Arts (New York). Awards and residencies include The Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation Space Program, The Banff Centre for the Arts and the MFA Fellowship for the School of Visual Arts.