July, 4, 2014 Orphic Gallery will celebrate the opening of Instrumental Desire: Strings Attached

On the Fourth of July from 5 to 7 pm The Orphic Gallery in Roxbury will celebrate the opening of Instrumental Desire: Strings Attached, an exhibit by Brooklyn artist Ken Butler.

Ken is an artist and musician whose hybrid musical instruments, performances, installations, and other works explore the interaction and transformation of common and uncommon objects, altered images, sounds and silence.

In Instrumental Desire: Strings Attached, he will exhibit a violin made from a hatchet, a guitar made with a turntable, a cello fashioned from a metal detector, and a piano constructed with Styrofoam shipping components, and along with other eccentric instruments, drawings and collages.

Created primarily from urban detritus, the hybrid instruments express a poetic spirit of re-invention and hyper-utility as hidden meanings and associations momentarily create a striking and re-animated cultural identity for common objects. String instruments become body, tool, weapon, toy, symbol, machine, phallus, creature, sculpture, icon, and voice. Pianos and keyboards become cybernetic and symbolic architecture. Anxious objects speak in tongues.

Ken Butler’s hybrid musical instrument sculptures, collage/drawings, performances, and audio-visual installations explore the interaction and transformation of common and uncommon objects, sounds and silence, and altered images as function and form collide in the intersections of art and music.

Created primarily from urban detritus, the hybrid instruments express a poetic spirit of re-invention and hyper-utility as hidden meanings and associations momentarily create a striking and re-animated cultural identity for common objects. String instruments become body, tool, weapon, toy, symbol, machine, phallus, creature, sculpture, icon, and voice. Pianos and keyboards become cybernetic and symbolic architecture. Anxious objects speak in tongues.

Bridging fine art, craft, technology, and music, the hybrids exist as ergonomic functional musical instruments as well as sculpture; they are constructed from readily available consumer objects designed to perform a different function, and when amplified are shaped with cutting-edge sound processing allowing artful musical sounds and expression.

His works have been featured in numerous exhibitions and performances throughout the USA, Canada, and Europe including The Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, Mass MoCA, and The Kitchen, The Brooklyn Museum, The Queens Museum, Lincoln Center and The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City as well as in South America, Thailand, and Japan. His works have been reviewed in The New York Times, The Village Voice, Artforum, Smithsonian, and Sculpture Magazine and have been featured on PBS, CNN, MTV, and NBC, including a live appearance on The Tonight Show.

He has performed with John Zorn, Laurie Anderson, Butch Morris, The Soldier String Quartet, Matt Darriau’s Paradox Trio, The Tonight Show Band, and The Master Gnawa musicians of Morocco. His CD, Voices of Anxious Objects is on Tzadik records.

Works by Ken Butler are represented in public and private collections in Portland, Seattle, Vail, Los Angeles, Toronto, Montreal, Washington, Paris, Tel Aviv, and New York City including the permanent collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Most recently, eleven pieces of his work was featured in the Prada Pavilion exhibition Art or Music at the Venice Architectural Biennale.

The Orphic Gallery is located at 53525 State Highway 30 in Roxbury, NY, the corner of Main and Bridge Streets, where art and music collide.

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