Theme: Reflection (identity)
Location: Level 3
The Humming Room, 2012, is a room in the Gallery manned by a security guard with instructions printed above the door that read: “IN ORDER TO ENTER THE ROOM, YOU MUST HUM A TUNE. ANY TUNE WILL DO.” A freestanding sign next to the entrance tells visitors to “BEGIN HUMMING AS YOU APPROACH THE GUARD.” Each person that enters becomes a performer and part of the artwork. The artwork is never the same for any two people.
Adrian Piper is a conceptual artist and philosopher from New York. In 1967 Piper became an assistant to artist Sol Le Witt, who was a founder of the conceptual art movement. He believed that ideas themselves could be works of art. Both the concept and the art-making process were more important than an art product. Piper has been influenced by Le Witt’s ideas and explores concepts such as racial identity, gender and stereotyping through her work.
BEFORE YOUR VISIT
What do you think a Humming Room might be? What might it be for? How do you think you might feel humming a tune in the Gallery space? What might your humming reveal about you? What do you think is the concept or idea behind the work?
DURING YOUR VISIT
As you approach The Humming Room, notice the reactions and responses of other visitors. Hum a tune and enter the space. What tune have you chosen and why? Notice how the artwork affects you before you enter, while you are inside and afterwards. The artist has provided a prompt and a space, the artwork is the experience that is generated. What does your experience reveal to you about yourself? How is this work different to other works you see around you? How important is the presence of the security guard?
Lara Schnitger I WAS HERE Ground Floor TX1
Lara Schnitger’s I WAS HERE 2019 is another NGV Triennial work that asks us to think about the way we present ourselves to others and how others see us. In what ways do you communicate your ideas and personality?
AFTER YOUR VISIT
If you were to create a conceptual artwork. What ideas might you explore? How would you make them evident in your work and what process could you use to convey them?