Buildings are urban monoliths. Cultural institutions are perceived to be even more so. Tom Mùller’s WA Now exhibition MONOLITH SCORES delves into what this perceived monolith sounds like, feels like, breathes like.

Conceived around the hexagonal shape central to the built form, the Gallery building internally is defined by open vistas and vertical columns, and breathes in its own rhythm. By listening/resonating with (to) the building, Mùller has created a series of works that include a replica of the central column in the exhibiting space made in pulsating light that breathes six breaths per minute. Known to calm the body and the mind, the six breaths principle is used in Buddhist, yogic and Christian practices: seeing the light and its tempo, experiencing the building’s breath, we as spectators can (see) experience (this) the monolith (in a different way) as a temple.

Original 1979 stone cement tiles from the Gallery rooftop become a sculptural element in the space, like an archaeological find in the future. These tile stacks are shrines of sound, created by Mùller while he ‘played’ the building, scraping, tapping, sounding out the surfaces which form this monolith. We, the audience, also play the building by being in it, talking, walking, being still, thinking: we are its dynamic, give it rhythm, just as it forms ours.

Walyalup (Fremantle) based the Undercurrent Choir of 31 singers will perform an ode to the building in 3 movements on the official opening night. The first will be to the horizontal plane and the iconic central staircase, the second to the vertical hexagonal columns and the last to the light breaths in the exhibition itself.

Sound and light combine in this exhibition to envelop us and guide us to a way of seeing and experiencing our monolith as a living, breathing structure, simultaneously grand and porous.

Related Information




Tour the Exhibition

On Saturday 27 August, the Gallery is open 10am-3pm only as we prepare for the AGWA Foundation Gala supporting women in the arts. Some exhibition access will be disrupted with two Tracks We Share ground floor galleries closed. AGWA Rooftop bar will be closed, reopening at 2pm Sunday. Details