Drum Listens to Heart
January 17 – March 4, 2023
CCA Wattis Institute, San Francisco, USA

Installation view of Drum Listens to Heart, CCA The Wattis Institute, San Francisco, USA, 2023
Photo: Drum Listens to Heart, 2022-23; CCA Wattis Institute, San Francisco


The third chapter of the exhibition (opening January 17) offers visitors a sweeping look at the percussive with different forms of physical impact, dance, healing, and language. Highlights of this chapter include a site-specific installation and rarely seen video by David Hammons; a new video installation by artist, performer, and choreographer NIC Kay inspired by table drumming that is part of their #Blackpeopledancingontheinternet project; and so-called “disease throwers” by Guadalupe Maravilla, elaborate sculptures that draw on indigenous healing traditions, which the artist uses to perform sound baths. Visitors will also be invited to wear one of Korean artist Haegue Yang’s Sonicwears—necklaces, bracelets, and scarves made of nickel-plated bells. Walking around the exhibition wearing the sculptural works, visitors’ bodies will become percussive instruments, creating a soundtrack of polyrhythms as they move separately or in unison.

The exhibition will also feature a series of performances curated by Diego Villalobos that explore historical and political possibilities for the percussive. Drawing on ancestral music and language, ritual ceremonies, and the long history of percussion and the Avant-Garde, the performances explore two predominant themes: music as a tool for political activism and social change and music as an experimental art form.


Exhibited works

Sonicwear, 2013-

Incantations – Entwinement, Endurance and Extinction, 2022