Dani Gal, Historical Records (detail), 2016–17, vinyl records, installation view at private office, New York City. Courtesy of the Artist.

Dani Gal, Historical Records, installation view at Centre Pompidou, Paris, 2023. Courtesy of the Artist.

Dani Gal, Historical Records (detail), 2016–17, vinyl records, installation view at private office, New York City. Courtesy of the Artist.

Dani Gal, Historical Records, installation view at Centre Pompidou, Paris, 2023. Courtesy of the Artist.

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Selected

Historical Records

Opening Reception and Performance:
Saturday, March 9, 6 – 8 pm
6 pm – Performance of Semi-Automatic: The Swamp in June in Seaspan Pavillion
7 pm – Opening Reception with Artist in attendance in The Polygon’s ground floor gallery
RSVP HERE

Dani Gal’s epic work, Historical Records (2005–) comprises over 700 commercially issued vinyl LPs that the artist has collected since the beginning of this century. As the collection grew over the years, it was divided into three versions; the first version (246 records), which is part of the Collection of Migros Museum in Zürich, has been loaned to The Polygon Gallery for exhibition. This poignantly plural work is the centrepiece of Gal’s first solo exhibition in Canada. Installed in a dense grid on a wall, the array of LP covers can be understood visually as an alternative history painting – albeit one that refuses to serve a dominant narrative. Historical Records coheres a broad spectrum of phonographic, typographic, and photographic approaches to the projects of political transformation across the globe. Bracketed by the period between the invention of the phonograph (1877) and the Fall of the Berlin Wall (1989), Gal’s rich collection of sound recordings chronicles, according to Gal, “speeches and interviews of those who were in power, others who objected to this power, of war and peace agreements, human rights struggles, and other radio broadcasts of the events that shaped history.” The recordings have all been digitized by the artist and are available for listening in the Gallery.

During the course of the exhibition, several methods are being planned to activate the immense potential of the work as a ground for critical historical reflection and collective imagining of political and sonic futures: dialogues, tours, and radio broadcasts as well as a sound performance. Gal himself will activate Historical Records in a performance titled Semi Automatic which will open the exhibition on March 9th, wherein he “plays” a selection of the records via his own custom-built electronic instruments and closed-circuit recording and projection system.

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