Anne Le Troter’s audio installation, The Four F’s: Family, Finance, Faith and Friends is a part of Dallas’ Nasher Sculpture Center’s Sightings exhibition series; the series title makes extra sense here because the show’s windowed corner gallery spot can be seen in its entirety from the street. (Though, the construction trucks outside present a bit of a sightline obstruction if you’re on the sidewalk outside. There’s a high-rise being built on the next block, which may obstruct some dreaded glare from Museum Tower when the sun is out.) The room is nearly soundproof, making it another cell lurking among the Dallas sprawl.
The work, commissioned by the Nasher, broadcasts recorded testimonies, primarily from women describing the positive attributes of the sperm donor profiles they’re perusing from a sperm bank in the United States. These audio interviews were ostensibly recorded as an audio aid for visually disabled clients seeking sperm donors from said clinic. The audio is edited according to Le Troter’s Fluxus-poetry sensibilities; sentence fragments featuring blips of superficial descriptions of virile men bleat one after the other to me, alone in the space. The room purports to be a place for conversation, but it’s really a waiting room with an endless lecture.
Not in a bad way. References to the body are everywhere. Le Troter has hung the speakers from the roof of the room, which excuses the audio cables to snake themselves in bundles down the wall and into the furniture. The whole sound system, in fact, is a series of nodding speakers and bouncing cables, emulating patterns of breathing and flexing muscles. The clear plastic wrapped around the carpet on the floor immediately reminds me that having a body is messy.
Le Troter has installed her materials on every plot of the room, but not across every square inch. Each surface is nine-tenths dressed, leaving gaps. Pink carpet hangs loosely along most of the vertical wallspace, but images of sperm donors as infants are embedded into minuscule peepholes along sections that are left bare. Most of the carpet has its pink hue scrubbed off in a way that resembles a power-washed sidewalk. The aforementioned Saran Wrap stops at a peculiar spot in front of the floor-to-ceiling windows.
It’s winter, and my recent visits to the Art District have been blanketed in fog, mist, and brisk walks to avoid rain. It’s the best season for a party, when the weather provides a reason to stay inside and mingle. I love the idea of a glamorous reception inside Le Troter’s installation, with its own separate conversation of prince charming’s sperm hovering above the patois of soiree.
On view at Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas through February 2, 2020.