The Sound of Photo Memory
What does visual art sound like? Many times there is a multilayer sensory experience that goes into the process of a work of art, but the audience are presented a final product that may not expose these layers. As I view Josè Betancourt current exhibition, CUBA: reconstructing memories, dealing with his visual memory of Cuba I think of what his memory sounds like. When I call to ask, he walks me through the sounds that play in his mind. Some of these sound made of musicians connected to his family. He speaks on how his soundscape would connect like the collage technique in works such as “ El Caiman.” They are woven together, playing off of one another. Also pieces like “ Expedito” which brings to his mind music overlapping, maybe one song fading into another more chaotic, an interlude of this, and a bridge of that, to make this abstract array of sound. But when asked about a work such as “Departure” he tells me this work could have a single song selection from the album “Kind of Blue” by Miles Davis because of its depth and emotional texture. I leave this dialogue understanding how sound plays in his mind surrounding this show. It is amazing when us as viewers look beyond what is presented and ask questions that allow the artist to recall and re-imagine their process, which sheds new insight on the work.