In celebration of Ursinus College’s 150th Anniversary, the Berman Museum presents artist and composer Douglas Henderson’s exhibition, Music for 150 Carpenters. The exhibition is comprised of a multi-channel, aerial-view video projection and audio recording of Henderson’s site-specific, live performance piece of the same name that occurred at the museum in October 2019, displayed alongside leftover performance ephemera—sawhorses, hammers, nails, and lunch boxes. Music for 150 Carpenters is made in collaboration with not only professional and regional carpenters, but also local artists; museum professionals; community members; Ursinus faculty, staff, alumni, and of course, students. The remnants of 150 workers, 150 hammers, 75 sawhorses, and some 10,000 nails, together with the audiovisual recording projected on the gallery floor, form the final installation—an immersive experience where the sounds of construction become waves of tonal murmur repeated throughout the gallery.
Douglas Henderson is a Berlin-based sound artist whose work spans media. From electroacoustic sound to sculptural installations, he considers the sensual aspects of sound, while considering its role as a culturally charged material with social import.
The artist describes the project as a “moving sculpture” that uses sound to engage the architecture of the specific venue. He writes, “Confined to a limited sonic palate, I focus on architectural drama to move the music forward… As the piece progresses, a palpable sonic transcendence emerges: the physical actions of the performers cease to match the cloud of sound that they generate. The sensual reality of the piece finally evades the meanings and structures it invokes.”
All Berman exhibitions are free and open to the public.