The Curves of the Needle considers the recurring interest in the culture of the vinyl record in contemporary art. This group exhibition explores album artwork, the cultural significance of the record collection and brings together contemporary artists experimenting with the medium.
I was invited by BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art to produce a limited edition, freely available publication to accompany the exhibition. Harry Pearson is the author of The Far Corner and nine other works of non-fiction, including Slipless in Settle – winner of the 2011 MCC/Cricket Society Prize. From 1997 through to 2012 he wrote over 700 columns for the Guardian sports section. He has worked for When Saturday Comes since 1988. For The Curves of the Needle he wrote about the cultural significance of record sleeve design in and social memory.
The exhibition included works by alt.vinyl, Sam Belinfante, The Basement Group, David Blandy, Ralf Brög, Rutherford Chang, Rhodri Davies, Dj78, Graham Dolphin, Benedict Drew, Julian Germain, Rodney Graham, Bruce Haack, Jandek, Philip Jeck/Lol Sargent, Jim Lambie, Locus+, Christian Marclay, Jonathan Monk, Elizabeth Price, Elaine Radigue, Sun Ra, Lathe Revival, Jonty Semper, David Toop, Bartholomäus Traubeck, Michael Wilkinson, X Ray Audio, :Zoviet*France: as well as a display of fan-made record covers and record inners sourced from RPM records and a commissioned text on record sleeves by writer Harry Pearson.
The exhibition coincided with Record Store Day on Saturday 18 April 2015 and culminated in a special evening of events for Museums at Night: The Late Shows on Saturday 16 May 2015. Details for related talks, events and performances programme can be found at baltic39.com.