“Listening in the Absence of Sound” – Molly Merson

Press release text for the exhibition "Listening in the Absence of Sound" in New York, March 2014

Gallery Molly Krom is pleased to present Listening in the Absence of Sound, a solo show by Berlin based artist Rebecca Raue.
The title of the show is a springboard for associations. Some imagine a state of sensory deprivation and question their ability to endure silence or, conversely, crave it in our age of sensory overload. Others are lead to recall the use of silence as a subject and a medium by such major figures in modern and contemporary culture as Robert Rauschenberg (White Paintings), Guy Debord (Howling for Sade) and of course John Cage, who in 1952 created a highly structured silent musical composition 4’33”.
For Rebecca Raue, however, absence of sound is neither a private phobia nor a cultural, intellectual reference. It is an invitation to follow her on an inward journey that leads us “beyond the sound, behind the sound, into the essence of sound”.    When does the feeling, the image or the sound become real? Do you need to experience it through your senses or does it exist even before? Is it a forever private experience or one that is valid for everyone? Rebecca Raue explores these questions through her works selected for this exhibition.
The works are mixed media on paper, executed in different scales and one collage. Almost all paintings include an image of a tree, a house or a figure furthering the allusion to an invitation to look from outside in, these are the elements one is asked to draw in psychological testing to uncover one’s subconscious associations. The paintings are also saturated with color, and in that they are far from “silent”. They are full of something that happens in the absence of something else (a sound), bringing to mind John Cage’s words that “every something is an echo of nothing”
The only collage in the exhibit is also the most representational piece.    It can be seen as the central or a final piece in the exhibit, depending on how one’s eye chooses to follow the flow of works. It is meant to give a concrete visual content to the artist’s experience of going into deep corners of the mind when she (and us) listens in the absence of sound.
Rebecca Raue was born in Berlin in 1976. She is represented by Gallery Michael Schultz. Her most recent exhibi- tions include a solo show The Body Becomes Space at Gallery Michael Schultz, Bosphorus Brake, a group exhibit at BAP Galleri, Istanbul, and New Positions, New Works, at Projectraum Knut Ospen, Cologne.