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Past Exhibition Ragnar Kjartansson and Curver Thoroddsen Maria Callas Concrete Andy Warhol’s collection of Maria Callas recordings played simultaneously

March 11–May 1, 2011


Ragnar Kjartansson and artist Curver Thoroddsen have taken Andy Warhol’s collection of Maria Callas opera recordings (recorded from the radio and other sources), transferred them to digital files, and layered them on top of each other to create a wall of sound. This massive amalgam of aural information is mostly experienced as complex noise, until its end: the longer works are left alone until only one musical workremains, clear and melodic. An homage to Callas, Warhol’s status as a devotee of the opera diva, and the avant-garde tradition of musique concrète, this abstraction of music turns the operatic melody into pure, hard sound, and emotion into something obdurate and concrete, before the song reemerges.

MARIA CALLAS CONCRETE is a collaboration between The Andy Warhol Museum and the Carnegie Museum of Art, and part of Ragnar Kjartansson: Song, at The Carnegie Museum of Art. The original audio recordings are from the Archives of The Andy Warhol Museum, Founding Collection, Contribution The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.