Sun Ship Machine Gun - Metallurgy I
Mixed media installation: video, audio, 2 bronze sculptures, performance
Sculptures: Ellen Ballon, 1938, bronze, 60 x 56 x 67 cm, by Sir Jacob Epstein (loaned by McGill University) & Plaque I (Take Away the Bells), 2016, bronze, 99.36 x 49.81 x 0.64 cm
HD Video & Recorded Audio: 24 min 56 sec
Sobey Art Award Exhibition, National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa ON), October 6, 2016 - February 5, 2017, Curated by Josée Drouin-Brisebois
"In the multimedia piece Sun Ship Machine Gun - Metallurgy I, which features an audio and a video installation, Robinson investigates a historical tale of the fate of church bells melted down to produce arms during the Second World War, followed by their reconstitution as saxophones in the postwar period. Here sounds and images become echoes of a wider history in which the destiny of materials is presented as an oblique narrative of aesthetic decay, sacrifice and redemption. In a further twist, this presentation reunites the video with one of its subjects: Jacob Epstein's bronze portrait of renowned Canadian pianist Ellen Ballon."
Plaque I (Take Away the Bells) (2016) contains a Ekphrasis poem
by Erinn Beth Langille entitled Take Away the Bells (2016).
Improvisational saxophone performances by Nick Dourado were recorded in 2016 at Fort Massey United Church (Halifax NS) and added to the installation's video/audio component.
Recorded Audio Composition: William Robinson & Joel Waddell
Recorded Audio Production: Joel Waddell
Performer (Saxophonist), Gala night: Nick Duorado
Photos: Photo © NGC (1-6), Christopher Snow (7-8 & 14)
Video stills: W. Robinson (9-13)