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Installation view, On traces of rhythm, Listen Gallery, Glasgow 2022

I imagine the creak of clay as it passes through an extruder. The stretch of stoneware being pulled and twisted as it dries, the slap of glaze. Sounds that produce shudders in the upper back. These noises, extracted from the sculptural process, are the source material for Marina Iodice’s audio installation for On traces of rhythm, inviting us to listen to the language of her sculpture.

The new sonic work, produced in collaboration with Listen Gallery, was made using sound from the materials, tools and actions of the creation of a suite of physical works that sit within the audio. Though gently filling the space, it’s the kind of sound you could sink into. I want to hear it loud, engulfing. So that I feel like I’m in a stomach with these sculptures. With the clicks and swells and drones of their ceramic tongue.

The sculptures in question are strange lexical forms, fruiting from the walls and alcoves of the gallery. They form a kind of score for a choreography of making—twist, stretch, turn, pull. A sequence of gestural protocols making present the body that performed them. On one wall, a blank slide projector casts shady letter forms behind the ceramic limbs. The Sudanese man who works in the garage next door says he can see his language in them. In another corner, they float luscious from a scaffold, lit dimly by a pair of red bike lights, like anklets at the foot of the structure. It’s hard to see the sculptures without also seeing their linguistic character. Their smoothness, gradients and shadows make me distrust my eyes, seeing digital render in place of a handmade form.

Listen Gallery is a grassroots space run by Iraqi diaspora that opened in 2021 to platform artists working in sound and support communal listening activity. Situated in the east end of Glasgow, the next door Tennents brewery blankets the street with its wheaty vapours. Listen tell me that several leylines cross the site of the gallery and large deposits of oyster shells were uncovered here denoting its historic significance in the landscape.

The space feels fitting then to host an installation humming with sonic forms and object voices, assembling like ancient notation, growing and ripening through repetition into some organic typology. Iodices work negotiates the flesh of language—the utterances and expressions of the thingly world. Her installation makes something solid and bodily from the slippery stuff of communication and gesture whilst the sculptural bodies crucially remain abstract, their vocabulary radically strange, fugitive and unknowable.


Laura Plant is an arts programmer, writer and gardener based in Glasgow. She has recently worked with GAMIS and Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo and written for The Earth Issue, Axis and Platform.

Marina Iodice is a South Italian artist based in Glasgow and co-founder of Non Place Collective.

On traces of rhythm at Listen Gallery, Glasgow 15-30 October 2022.