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Image of Mahogany Music Box

Mahogany Music Box
Sculpture

1989
20 1/4 x 20 1/4 in. (51.44 x 51.44 cm)

Mineko Grimmer (Japan, 1949 – ) Primary

Object Type: Sculpture
Medium and Support: Mixed media construction
Credit Line: Gift of Katie and Drew Gibson
Accession Number: 2012.08.13

SJMA Label Text


Your Mind, This Moment: Art and the Practice of Attention (2017)

Mineko Grimmer, through sound, punctuates silence. In Mahogany Music Box, Grimmer suspends a frozen pyramid of stones over an apparatus made of wood, bamboo, and guitar strings. As the pyramid melts, water and stones fall onto the base, causing the strings to vibrate. The indeterminateness (will one, two, three, or more pebbles fall at once?) places the viewer in a hyper-alert state, on the edge of silence and deliberate but random sound. In the 1990s, Grimmer collaborated with John Cage, the experimental composer best known for his work 4’33” (1952) in which he highlights the absence of intentional sound. Like Cage, Grimmer riffs on the notion of sound guided by chance.


Breaking Ground: Gifts from Katie and Drew Gibson (2013)

Mineko Grimmer has been making her “sound-producing kinetic sculptures” since 1980. Most of them follow a formula she has honed over the decades: a frozen pyramid of stones is suspended over an apparatus made of wood, bamboo, and guitar strings. As the pyramid melts, water and stones fall onto the apparatus, each drop causing a unique acoustic moment in the space. Each individual sculpture is unique.

Grimmer carefully arranged so that we may see it become activated by the forces of temperature, gravity, and time. The work as both sculpture and instrument becomes a performance when activated by pebbles released from a melting pyramid.

Exhibition

A Point Stretched: Views on Time, November 4, 2022 – July 9, 2023, Plaza and Gibson Galleries, San José Museum of Art.

Your Mind, This Moment: Art and the Practice of Attention
, February 17, 2017 - August 17, 2017, Second Fl. North Gallery, San José Museum of Art.

Breaking Ground: Gifts from Katie and Drew Gibson, July 18, 2013 - October 20, 2013, New Wing, Second Floor, North Gallery, San José Museum of Art.

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Dimensions
  • Sculpture Dimensions: 20 1/4 x 20 1/4 in. (51.44 x 51.44 cm)

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