Terry Fox’s The Labyrinth Scored for the Purrs of 11 Different Cats
October 04, 2019
Walk the labyrinth accompanied by Terry Fox’s mesmerizing composition of recorded cat purrs, the first event in a roving exhibition of works by this San Francisco artist. A great way to celebrate St. Francis Day!
Terry Fox (1943–2008), a native of Seattle, was a first-generation conceptual artist who lived in San Francisco off and on from 1963 to 1978, punctuated by extended stays in Europe where he subsequently made his home. Fox made works using ordinary, non-art materials that related to his own body, his physical hardships (as a young man he suffered from Hodgkin’s Disease), and the fundamental issues of life and death. In 1972, he encountered the labyrinth at Chartres Cathedral, and its 11 concentric rings, winding through 34 turns along 552 steps to its inevitable center, representing to him life’s circuitous journey. For Fox it served as a metaphor for the 11-year cycles of sickness and health he had endured. One of his many works inspired by the labyrinth, this piece, created in 1977, is a soundscape for walking the labyrinth, a mesmerizing composition of recorded cat purrs, which resonate in a shimmering wall of sound like an uncanny feline orchestra.
This event is the first of a roving exhibition of works by Terry Fox, The room becomes the sounding box, curated by Dena Beard and Constance Lewallen to celebrate and reinvigorate the spirit of Fox’s work in multiple spaces around the Bay Area:
October 12 through November 2 (unless otherwise noted)