THE ARTIST: Curtis Grahauer
THE LOWDOWN: Part of a group show that takes a well-known quote from U.S. artist Vito Acconci as its title and inspiration, Grahauer's two immersive installation works explore karaoke as a ready-made social space that has intriguing potential in an accelerated consumer culture.
COORDINATES: I've done this for you. runs at the Charles H. Scott Gallery (1399 Johnston Street, Granville Island) until December 19. Curated by Cate Rimmer, the show includes equally generous work by Artlab, Geoffrey Farmer, and Samuel Roy-Bois.
PROCESS ORIENTED: Grahauer has been working with karaoke for a couple of years, using it to investigate the increasingly important relationship between music and images. Karaoke Installation for Public Use features an easy-to-use interactive setup, complete with projected visuals, so gallery visitors can sing their hearts out. There's a good selection of DVDs, including the Carpenters, and two microphones for anyone interested in a duet. Installed in a darkened room behind this piece, Don't Stop is a looped video projection that depicts rapidly moving disco lighting inside a tent with the artist's rendition of Michael Jackson's "Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough" as the soundtrack. The success of the two installations lies in the artist's genuine appreciation of popular expression and his challenging of the expectations typically associated with gallery-going.
WHAT IT ALL MEANS: "Karaoke for me is just a pastime; I mean, even pastime sounds a little serious. At least I've gotten to the point where I don't have to be drunk and I can freak it," says Grahauer in an interview outside the gallery. "I think culture is getting to the point where the consumer and professional are merging through the convergence of technology. Karaoke levels it all out by taking the piss out of all these big-budget songs."