Stankievech explores the sound of architectural space

Solo shows set for this winter

Jacob Larsen

Charles Stankievech’s collage illustrates the immense space of the Lucien L’Allier Metro station, which he tried to capture with sound.

Collage by charles stankievech

Charles Stankievech’s interest in sound brought him back to Concordia. His installations, combinations of audio, video and design, are perhaps described as sound architecture, reflecting the artist’s longtime fascination with the aural.

“In our visual culture, we often miss the way sound gives us a kind of framing or grounding,” Stankievech explained. “My works are usually rooted in an object that creates sound, or in the physical experience of sound.”

Exploring the Architecture of Transparency captured both of those elements by inviting audiences to experience a feedback loop in the Black Box in Concordia’s EV Building.

The dimensions of the room removed certain frequencies while amplifying others. The recorded result is haunting and ethereal, like a cross between ephemeral whale sounds and the hum of the refrigerator. “I’m not a musician,” he confessed. “I’m more interested in the materiality of sound.”

Based on an earlier exploration in the cavernous depths of Lucien L’Allier metro station, Stankievech’s Black Box installation was part of his ongoing investigation of how spaces create sound and, inversely, how sound creates place.

When Stankievech was first a student, he took philosophy and English literature, but his career in the film industry and theatre gave him an interest in creating what he calls “virtual worlds.”

After several exhibitions in galleries in Vancouver, Montreal, Venice and the U.K., he enrolled in Concordia’s prestigious MFA program, dividing his time between the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema and the Department of Studio Arts.

“I wanted to gain some teaching experience, and that was one major thing Concordia could offer me,” he said.

While students may one day see Stankievech standing at the front of a classroom, his conceptual works have made him a hot item in the contemporary art world. He is presently on an artist residency at the Banff Centre for Arts and has shows scheduled in Montreal in November and January. For more, go to: