Maya Dunietz: Whales, Walls and Waves
Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts
Omaha, NE
July 8–September 18, 2021


Maya Dunietz: Whales, Walls and Waves is Dunietz’s first solo institutional exhibition in the U.S., presenting her audio-physical installations that respond to the interior spaces of the Bemis’s historic 1880’s warehouse building. 

The show includes four seminal works by Dunietz. Root of Two is a 17-piano installation that generates sound with the pianos through nontraditional means. Low frequency transducers are installed inside the pianos and are connected to amplifiers that vibrate the instruments. The pianos are “played”—not by using the keys, but by shaking the whole instrument using this technology. Mechanical Lungs, which are breathing machines made from vacuum cleaner bag fabric and air pumps, emanate a range of breathing sound timbres, producing rhythms and polyrhythms that resonate in the galleries. A collaboration with indigenous Omaha tribes, Ghosts uses laser sound waves and voice recordings to resonate and echo sound from the walls or off objects, telling a story as one moves through the galleries. And at the end of the exhibition, visitors are invited to enter an anechoic chamber—an artist-designed noise isolating room—to experience their own bodies as instruments of sound.