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Ellen Moffat, Small Sonorities: Material Signals
multi-channel video: 4:00

Remai Modern
Ellen Moffat, Small Sonorities: Material Signals
March 1-31, 2017

Remai Modern is very pleased to announce a new web commission, Small Sonorities: Material Signals, by renowned Canadian artist Ellen Moffat.

In association with its pre-launch programs, Remai Modern has been inviting artists to realize original projects exclusively for online viewing. On the first day of every month, work by a new artist appears on Remai Modern’s homepage. The web commissions are curated by Gregory Burke, Executive Director & CEO, and Sandra Guimarães, Director of Programs & Chief Curator at Remai Modern.

Previous commissions by Ryan Gander, Tammi Campbell, Tanya Lukin Linklater, Thomas Hirschhorn, Taysir Batniji, Pedro Barateiro, Kara Uzelman, Rosa Barba, and Amanda Beech remain accessible in the online archive.

Ellen Moffat uses hi/low tech and aesthetics as a poetic and conceptual inquiry into sound, materials, composition and language. In Small Sonorities: Material Signals, objects are driven by low-frequency signal that transfers action (visible) into sound (invisible) as translation and metaphor for entanglement and interconnectivity. Sonic kinetic actions may suggest psychological states, ecological instability or social disturbance, referring to forces and noise in our personal lives and everyday environment.

Moffat’s interest is the acoustic properties of objects and resonance—the study of sound relations as forces that transfer energy across spaces. In locating resonance and situating the body, physical presence (sound vibration) confronts physical presence (bodies), opening up a vocabulary of sound based on direct contact and experience. Objects are sonic characters whose actions are triggered by external forces, resulting in sound-kinetics as synchronous and non-synchronous events. Drawing from Dadaist techniques, this work proposes a form of Little Theatre: objects are actors that perform and are performed by conditions and chance occurrence.

Project Credits:
Glenn Markwart, Lighting
Andrei Feheregyhazi, Camera and Video Editing
Canada Council for the Arts

About Ellen Moffat
Ellen Moffat (b. Toronto, 1954) is based in Saskatoon. Her practice includes independent and interdisciplinary collaborations with visual, literary and performing arts, including media, dance, music and voice.

Moffat’s work has been shown in solo and group exhibitions in galleries, off-site venues and as public art. Exhibitions include: Dunlop Art Gallery, Regina; New Adventures in Sound Art, Toronto; CAFKA, Kitchener; Dalhousie Art Gallery, Halifax; Epcor Centre, Calgary; Kentler International Art Centre, Brooklyn; Salon Ba’stav, Tel Aviv; Hamilton Art Gallery. In addition, her projects include solo and collaborative interdisciplinary performances.

About Remai Modern
Remai Modern is a new museum of modern and contemporary art currently coming to life in Saskatoon, a growing city on the vast Canadian Prairies. Opening in 2017, it aims to be a vibrant, imaginative and prescient museum committed to affirming the powerful role that art and artists play in questioning, interpreting and defining the modern era. The building, by eminent Canadian architects KPMB, overlooks the South Saskatchewan River in downtown Saskatoon. Remai Modern is home to the world’s foremost collection of Picasso linocut prints and aspires to be a leading centre for contemporary Indigenous art programming.

Remai Modern gratefully acknowledges funding from the City of Saskatoon and Canada Council for the Arts.


Ph +1 306 975-7610

P.O. Box 569
Saskatoon SK S7K 3L6