York Art Gallery

14 December 2018 – 10 March 2019

Kaiser Chiefs explored the boundaries between art and music in a unique and experimental exhibition.

Using their position as pop musicians as a starting point, Kaiser Chiefs chose to rethink sound as a medium, inviting visitors to join them in exploring the edges between music, art, creation and performance.

To do this, they brought together works by internationally regarded sound artists which have resonated with the band while on their travels and inspired them to look at sound in new ways.


List of Works

One of the main works displayed was Janet Cardiff’s The Forty Part Motet, a 40 part choir singing in harmony through 40 individual speakers.

This evocative piece allows people to walk through an oval of speakers and hear a reworking of Thomas Tallis’ ‘Spem in Alium Nunquam Habui’ from the singers’ point of view.

The band selected the sound installation because of its relevance to how they hear their own music while performing – ‘an all encompassing space of sound’.

It is one of several loans showcased in this unique exhibition which examine the boundaries between art and music, creation and performance. Other highlights include:

• The short film Fiorucci Made me Hardcore by Mark Leckey, which Guardian called “…perhaps the finest portrayal of British nightlife ever captured.”
• The Turner Prize winning work THE WOOLWORTHS CHOIR OF 1979 by Elizabeth Price.
• Archive material from the collections of pioneering composer Pauline Oliveros, who coined the phrase “deep listening®”.
• Daytrip Maryanne, a collaboration between sound sculptor MaryAnne Amacher and guitarist Thruston Moore of Sonic Youth.

The show also featured works drawn from our own collection paired with songs selected from a “set list” by the band.

Artists in the set list include:

  • Bridget Riley
  • Jack Butler Yeats
  • L.S. Lowry
  • John Hoyland

Alongside this, the band created an installation entitled “Silent Gig”. This fascinating installation uses light, colour, and lyrics to create an immersive environment that offers visitors a reconfigured experience of a live music show and its elements.

Finally, this exciting exhibition also featured Sarah Graham’s work ‘Kaisers Rock!’, the cover art for the band’s greatest hits album ‘Souvenir: The Singles 2004-2012’.

Standing in its own time

10 January – 24 March 2019

Combining sound, sculpture and performance, Rebecca Glover’s work conjures up journeys through imaginary landscapes in which bodies, space, time and scale are completely fluid. Find out more.

One More Last Song

10 March 2019

Join us this Sunday and meet Simon Rix from Kaiser Chiefs!

Simon will be in the Gallery working at the Bureau of Found Audio Objects with artist Roger Miles. Find out more.