Pithoprakta

860 S. Los Angeles St., Los Angeles, CA, 90014
Oct 01, 4 PM - 7 PM — ends Oct 30, 2022
Pithoprakta is a group exhibition, curated by Helen Chung, inspired by a composition by Iannis Xenakis. He composed it in 1955 for string orchestra (with two trombones, xylophone and wood block).

‘Pithoprakta’ means “action through probability’. Breaking down his scheme for 46 string instruments, Xenaxis drew an analogy between the string instruments moving independently (effectively instrumental solos) through their respective pitch ranges towards variable rhythmic and harmonic intersections and points of convergence, and gas molecules moving at varying speeds through shifting distributions with corresponding fluctuating temperatures.

The show is intended to appropriate the ground-breaking aspect of Xenakis’ compositional orchestral scheme in particular, not the mathematical source from which his composition was written. Each artist’s work resonates with different aspects of music— gestural, rhythmic and lyrical, rigorous diagram - like designs addressing tone, pitch and color, or even inspired by iconic printed images we associate with our favorite bands. The pieces in the show, each being very different from one another, ‘sound off’ against each other to create harmony (and tensions) as well as unexpected segues.

Another aspect of Xenakis' work that seems to connect with painting is the overall impact of the piece resulting in a static or immobile totalizing effect. The great complexity of the progression of movements by 46 distinct voices, moving independently with an idiosyncratic synchronicity and somehow arriving at stillness, as if approaching the sort of thermal equilibrium the composer anticipated, and yet, retaining their energies independent of one another; not unlike the complexities of movements these paintings had undergone before arriving at stillness.

Participating artists

Tomory Dodge
Iva Gueorguieva
David Lloyd
Amy MacKay
Dave Muller
Joshua Nathanson
Khang Nguyen