SHIFTApr 13 — Aug 6, 2023


  • Bani Abidi, Shan Pipe Band Learns The Star Spangled Banner (video still), Image courtesy the artist and Experimenter. 
Like all means of communication and artistic expression, musical compositions change in form and interpretation as they move across time and place. Instruments as well transform in sound and appearance, and are put to use in different contexts, often appropriated into new subcultures and meanings. SHIFT initiates a dialogue on how music itself functions a site to observe and understand the ways that culture both shapes and is shaped by unfolding possibilities of community—as well as provides a lens into collective tones that either confront or promote nationalism and violence. From the presentation of religious music in secular space, to the transformation of traditional folk songs into propaganda; from an amateur choir reclaiming historic songs, to anthem translations learned for the very first time. A curiosity of SHIFT is how music can become the object of playful, serendipitous, or even malevolent intentions. The Museum of Contemporary Photography and the Goethe-Institut Chicago will co-present this exhibition on site at the museum, along with a series of public programs held at the institute, examining complications of man-made sounds through unexpected perspectives of visual art and social history.

Featuring the work of Emeka Ogboh, Sven Johne, Bani Abidi, Julia Charlotte Richter, Andre Lützen, and more.

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Museum of Contemporary Photography

at Columbia College Chicago
600 South Michigan Avenue
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