Nikita Gale

Nikita Gale

Keynote Drift

March 6, 2018 – April 1, 2018

It’s another sunny day on a standstill LA freeway. Two lovers/friends are going mad confined in the front seats. Carefully choreographed conversation slips away and discomfort builds. No more innuendo; no more burden, no more deep-buried truths. As the car crawls and brakes and glides inch-by-inch a trumpet hollers out what the empty voices miss. The horn slurs out guileless love, fear, frustration, absurdity, nonsense, humor all as unpredictable as the road ahead. As a musical instrument, the horn is significant in its very direct and dependent relationship to the human body – it fulfills its intended function when animated by the force of human breath. Our friends are galloping towards another form of talking when talking is no longer an option. In this recorded sound performance, the artist plays a trumpet — one type of musical horn – to imitate car-related sounds; the performance comprises a series of perceptual shifts between figure and ground within an automotive soundscape – keynote or ground sounds (the hum of a motor) are speckled with soundmarks (the sound of screeching tires, the sound of a transmission shifting gears) and, in some moments within the composition, drift entirely into signals (the sound of a siren, the sound of an engine blowing out). This assemblage of sounds coalesces and disperse to produce a sonic landscape that oscillates between images of crashes, racing, bodies, and scenic transcendent drives. From a whisper to a growl, we hear a pause for breath followed by an explosion of unconscious experiences, limits of the body punctuating the exchange. The fiery trumpet blazing like the sun.


Nikita Gale

Nikita Gale (b. 1983, Anchorage) lives and works in Los Angeles. Gale received her B.A. from Yale University in 2006, and her M.F.A in the New Genres program from The University of California, Los Angeles, in 2016. Her work has been the subject of recent solo presentations at Artist Curated Projects, Los Angeles; the UCLA New Wight Gallery, Los Angeles; PARMER, Brooklyn; The Front; New Orleans, and {Poem 88}, Atlanta. She has been featured in numerous group exhibitions both stateside and abroad, including recent shows at Reyes Projects, Detroit; The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; Rodeo, London; LAXART, Los Angeles; Samuel Dorksy Museum, New Paltz and The Center for Photography at Woodstock. Gale is also the recipient of recent awards, fellowships, and residencies, including the Rema Hort Mann Emerging Artist Grant, 2017; the Toby Devan Lewis Fellowship Award, UCLA, 2016;  the National Endowment for the Arts Southern Constellations Fellowship, 2013; and residencies at the Vermont Studio Center, the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, and the Center for Photography at Woodstock. In June of 2018, Gale’s work will be featured in Made in L.A. 2018, the fourth iteration of the Hammer Museum’s biennial, curated by Erin Christovale and Anne Ellegood.


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