Huge news out of Hot Springs: Joshua Varnedore, owner of Gallery 801
, has booked the first U.S. exhibition of the artwork of Riceboy Sleeps
, a show that will debut on Friday, August 3, as part of Hot Springs’ monthly gallery walk. A collaboration between Sigur Ros’ Jon Birgisson and Parachutes’ Alex Somers, Riceboy Sleeps makes similarly ambient music and puts out ghostly art. Last year, the Icelandic duo debuted a series of pieces framed in old window frames. Varnedore says that he sent an email to the address on Riceboy’s website, expecting to get in touch with the duo’s manager and hoping for, at best, a “yeah, your gallery is cool, maybe we’ll keep in touch in the future.” Instead, he got a reply from Alex Somers and was soon talking to he and Birgisson over the phone. Varnedore played ambassador to Hot Springs with the duo, selling the city’s hot springs and natural and historic beauty. For all the initial enthusiasm, a sticking point came when Varnedore discovered that shipping the frames over would be prohibitively expensive, but the intrepid gallery owner managed to find an abandoned house near Arkadelphia with old frames that Riceboy liked just as well as the ones they’d been using.
Birgisson and Somers will be in town for the opening, which will be guest-list only
open to the public. Adding to the allure, shoegaze heroes Hammock
will perform live for the first time ever at the after-party, which will be invite-only.
The show will be on display until September 7, after which it'll go to Melbourne and then back to Iceland, so it's likely that a lot of die-hard fans of ambient music and contemporary art will be trekking in. The guest-list for the opening will include people like Brian Eno, Varnedore says. Eno's uncomfirmed, but Varnedore says Clint Mansell, who's worked often with the filmmaker Darren Aronofsky, is likely coming. Not like you want to get his autograph, but still.