Michael Graeve | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Michael Graeve


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Michael Graeve is both a painter and a sound artist, and he operates quite differently in each medium: as a painter he uses oils on canvas to render bright and geometrically precise color fields, while in performance he exploits the gritty noisemaking potential of secondhand record players. He doesn't bother with LPs in the latter mode--instead he uses the sounds of amplified motors, speaker feedback, and cartridges striking turntables to generate grimy fuzz, coarse hums, and rhythmic thumps. Graeve does wield sound much like a painter, though, layering elements onto textured surfaces, and when his pieces switch direction the effect is more like changing slides than changing chords. The two media come together fully in Graeve's installations, which combine recordings of his record players with paintings and arrangements of audio equipment; for Inside/Outside, presented last year at New York's Gigantic Art Space, he set vertically stacked speakers alongside his horizontally arranged bars of color. An Australian native, Graeve moved to Chicago last year; C&S, his latest installation, opened March 31 at Enemy and can be viewed from 3 to 7 PM Thursdays and Fridays through April 21. This show marks his local live debut. Dan St. Clair opens; Graeve plays second, joined by Adam Sonderberg and Katherine Young for the last part of his set; Sonderberg and Young close the evening with a piece for live and sampled music boxes. Fri 4/14, 9 PM, Enemy, 1550 N. Milwaukee, third floor, 312-493-3657, $5 donation. All ages.

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