The Sound of a Falling Tree: Group Exhibition, Tuesday to Friday, Valencia

Michael Peter (Artist)

Research output: Non-textual formExhibition


Exhibition Dates: 11th November to 30th December

Curated by Liam Fallon

“If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”
Dr George Berkeley, Anglican bishop and philosopher, 1685-1753

It can be understood as a philosophical thought experiment speaking about the link between observation, perception, and experience. It follows the idea that to hear the action of the falling tree, one must be present to physically witness it. The idea allows us to consider that sound is an experience and therefore a product of the tree falling; like mere vibrations rippling through the air like the aftershocks of a stone being dropped in a pond.

This philosophical thought is something which opens the discourse around phenomena and phenomenology. Phenomena tends to be a fact or a situation that is observed to happen; something that we tend to see plastered on the front of the newspapers or the headline that infiltrates every news channel. Yet, it seems to be the phenomena of the everyday that is brought forward by this group of artists. There seems to be a magnetic pull that draws us to the corners of the room to observe even the simplest of events and this act alone leads me to consider the reasoning for what it is exactly that draws us to the observations that we make, what are the small invisible threads that seemingly pull us to where our interests lie?

Throughout this exhibition, we are continuously greeted by varying observations of the artists encounters whether that be the swaying of a blind in the morning by Ruadhri Ryan; a diving board eerily lacking any signs of use by Amy Grogan or even a cast aluminium tv mast by Millie Layton. Their newfound physicality differs drastically from our usual perception of such objects and this idea of the re-presenting of their forms seems particularly significant whether that be through a more primitive approach to making where the artists hand is very visible or through techniques which date back to the 3rd millennium, a method used to eternalise phenomena forever.

There seems to be a consistent throughout the exhibition where several of the works pinpoint the very thing mentioned about being drawn to the overlooked things in a room. The things that exist on the periphery, teetering on the edge of being important and at the same time slightly mundane. The quotidian happenings of daily life are the things which flesh out our experiences. At a first glance, the painting by Izzat-Lowry depicting a smoking cigarette seems consistent of our daily routines but there is a softness to the painting, almost existing as the segment of a dream that vividly sticks out in your mind but is still not fully tangible. The addressing of the daily happenings appears once again in the sculptural work of Fallon, this time through the presentation of an open door set into a wall. Albeit cartoon like, a cartoon aesthetic provides a window into a more sobering reality.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationValencia, Spain
PublisherTuesday to Friday
Media of outputOther
SizeGroup Show
Publication statusPublished - 11 Nov 2022


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