Stefany Anne Golberg at The Smart Set:
We want, sometimes, to hold on to the physical body of an artist because art is so elusive. The jumping spluttering paintings of Jackson Pollock, for instance, are hard to pin down. But the paintings, like prayers, eventually point the viewer away from the canvas and toward the unseen energy that created them.
Maryanne Amacher’s art was especially elusive. Amacher sculpted with sound, that most invisible medium. What is sound anyway? Paint makes a painting — even words can be looked at, and the words produce objects in our minds. Sculpting with sound is like sculpting with time. Is a sound artist like a clock? Maryanne Amacher’s temporal art was site-specific, composed for and in and of rooms, houses, monasteries. Architecture — the place where her sounds were physically located — was essential to the work of Maryanne Amacher. Most of her compositions had to be heard in the places they were made for, creating, as she wrote, “intense and dramatic sound experiences that [could not] be realized in home listening environments.” Her compositions were sonic worlds. When you walked into a Maryanne Amacher composition you entered her story of sound. Walls and floors shaped the tones but so did your body. Your body became architecture. When the listeners left and Amacher went home, the art disappeared. You wonder if it ever existed.