July 10 - July 31 2016

Per Billgren

Cave Music



Sister is pleased to present "Cave Music" a site specific installation by Per Billgren as part of "Tandem", a group show curated by Steven Mykietyn at (harbor) gallery. Billgren was trained as a photographer but in recent years his practice has focused on painting and collage. With a massive collection of vintage vinyl records as canvases Bilgren paints using such diverse materials as faux-finishing paints, wooden cobblestones, tar, leather and barnacles. The vernacular language of the album art absorbs and is colored by the painted maneuvers producing objects which are both highly formal as well as culturally specific.

For "Cave Music" Per has constructed an environment coated with barnacles and bathed in a purple light; unexpected in (harbor)'s basement window the installation produces an uncanny effect, almost like an alternate dimension from "The Twilight Zone". Per's juxtaposition of these symbolic elements uses a sort of dream logic that coalesces into a singular world while remaining mysterious. Barnacles have a free swimming larval stage before they ultimately attach themselves face first to a rock or ship, forever afterwards absorbing detritus and occasionally extending their extremely long penis over to a neighbor's shell for reproduction. They are also a pest, damaging ships hulls and slowing them down. Purple is a color with old ties to the sea; "Tyrian" purple was harvested from sea snails and was mainly used to color ceremonial robes in Ancient Rome. Casting these surprisingly suburban "crusty foulers" in the ancient glow of magic and power feels both poignant and spooky, like a mournful ballad for the sea.