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David Grubbs Releases “Simultaneous Soloists”

Anthony McCall and David Grubbs, Simultaneous Soloists (Pioneer Works Press)

Simultaneous Soloists is an artist’s book emerging from Anthony McCall’s exhibition Solid Light Works and the accompanying performance series Four Simultaneous Soloists, organized by David Grubbs. It documents these ephemeral events through multiple means: an extensive conversation between McCall and Grubbs detailing a decade of working together, interviews with sixteen participating musicians, writings by art historians Branden W. Joseph and Swagato Chakravorty, and visual materials ranging from McCall’s drawings and archival materials to photographs of the exhibition including images sourced from social media. The “simultaneous soloists” of the title variously refers to a grouping of McCall’s sculptural volumes of light, to gatherings of improvising musicians, or to McCall and Grubbs themselves—sympathetic artistic sensibilities proceeding in suggestively parallel practices.

Simultaneous Soloists considers from a plurality of perspectives the challenge of combining McCall’s visual art with sound in live performance. It is unique among books about visual art, sound art, and experimental music in describing a conceptually linked set of performances within an exhibition through so extensive an oral history. Interview subjects include Susan Alcorn, MV Carbon, Maria Chávez, Che Chen, Jules Gimbrone, David Grubbs, Sarah Hennies, Eli Keszler, Okkyung Lee, Miya Masaoka, Christopher McIntyre, Tomeka Reid, Ben Vida, Yoshi Wada, Nate Wooley, and C. Spencer Yeh.

Anthony McCall is a New York-based artist. His solid light works have been shown in numerous solo exhibitions including Serpentine Gallery (London, 2007), Hangar Bicocca (Milan, 2009), Hamburger Bahnhof (Berlin, 2012), and Pioneer Works (Brooklyn, 2018). He has also been represented in historical surveys such as The Expanded Screen: Actions and Installations of the Sixties and Seventies (MuMoK, Vienna, 2003) and Dreamlands: Immersive Cinema and Art, 1905-2016 (Whitney Museum, New York, 2016).

David Grubbs is Professor of Music at Brooklyn College and The Graduate Center, CUNY. He has released fourteen solo albums and is the author of Records Ruin the Landscape: John Cage, the Sixties, and Sound Recording (2014); Now that the audience is assembled (2018); and The Voice in the Headphones (2020), all published by Duke University Press.

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