I frequently imagine soundtracks for everyday activities, wondering what music should accompany a subway transfer, the minutes spent purchasing flowers, an unexpected encounter with someone who claims to be your childhood friend, a quick calligraphic drawing of a large ape, or a museum visit.
This game presented a challenge during my first visit to Dia Beacon, New York. While wandering through the galleries and around the works, I was flooded with memories of music. Diverse and contradictory sounds started to silently become part of my understanding of works that I had previously seen in art catalogues and magazines.
Mentally, I began taking notes of unexpected links between sculptures and symphonies, cumbias, rumbas, ballads, punk, ranchera, soul, techno, samba, hip hop, son huasteco, country, bolero, reggae, industrial, and many other styles. I smiled throughout the visit.
At that time, I was also invited to talk about one of the works in Dia Art Foundation’s collection as part of the Artists on Artists Lecture Series and was allowed to stay in their SoHo apartment. Sleeping beside Walter De Maria’s The New York Earth Room (1977), I was reminded of the voice of my grandmother, Helena.
For this selection of music, I have created a soundtrack for some of the works in Dia’s collection, including several not currently on view in Beacon. I initially tried to follow strict subjective and personal criteria, like only choosing works made in the year that I was born: 1968. But that process was ridiculously limiting, as I love many works produced in other moments.
So, I decided to go further, arbitrarily pairing one song with one artwork without reason. I selected titles, stories, references, contexts, and other delirious and goofy links to create new connections.
All musical pieces in this list are longtime favorites. In my silly game, the songs keep changing and exchanging every time that I think about or visit Dia Beacon, a favorite place of mine.
Playlist and Artwork References
- Mario y sus Diamantes,“El cable” / Fred Sandback, Untitled (from Ten Vertical Constructions), 1977–79
- Led Zeppelin, “Stairway to Heaven” / Walter De Maria, The Lightning Field, 1977
- Los Mirlos, “La cumbia de los pajaritos” / Louise Lawler, Birdcalls, 1972/1981
- The Rolling Stones, “Get off My Cloud” / Robert Morris, Untitled (Cloud), 1962
- Rigo Tovar, “No son palabritas” / Lawrence Weiner, Statement of Intent, 1969
- Los Saicos, “Demolición” / Robert Smithson, Map of Broken Glass (Atlantis), 1969
- Julián Carrillo and Jimena Giménez Cacho, “Sonata 5: II. Allegro vivo” / Alighiero e Boetti, Ammazzare il tempo, 1978
- Ultravox, “Alles Klar” / Charlotte Posenenske, Reliefs Serie B (Series B Reliefs), 1967/2008–11
- Joe Arroyo, “Mary” / John Chamberlain, Joe and Mary, 1973
- El Agujetas, “Siguiriyas de las grandes penas” / Louise Bourgeois, Hanging Janus with Jacket, 1968
- Los Camperos de Valles, “El Sacamandú” / Dorothea Rockburne, Domain of the Variable, 1972/2018
- Soda Stereo, “Persiana americana” / Agnes Martin, Window, 1957
- Piper Pimienta, “Las Caleñas” / Dan Flavin, untitled, 1976
- The Animals, “The House of the Rising Sun” / Nancy Holt, Sun Tunnels, 1973–76
- Javier Solís, “Sombras” / Andy Warhol, Shadows, 1978–79
- Nancy Sinatra, “In My Room” / Imi Knoebel, Raum 19 (Room 19), 1968
- Serge Gainsbourg, “Couleur café” / Meg Webster, Copper Containing Salt, 1990
- Throbbing Gristle, “Six Six Sixties” / On Kawara, JUNE 16, 1966 (from Today, 1966–2013), 1966
- Toña La Negra, “Humo en los ojos” / Mary Corse, Untitled (Black Earth Series), 1978
- The Slits, “Instant Hit” / Keith Sonnier, In Between, 1968
- Fuerza Régida, “Grafiteando paredes” / Sol LeWitt, Wall Drawing #1085: Drawing Series—Composite, Part I–IV, #1–24, A+B, 1968
- The White Stripes, “I Just Don’t Know What to Do with Myself” / Blinky Palermo, Winkel rot/weiss (Angle red/white), 1965
- Justin Hinds, “Here I Stand” / Carl Andre, Redoubt, 1977
- Hampus Lindwall, “Stop Chords” / Bridget Riley, Straight Curve, 1963
- Chico Buarque, “Construção” / Kishio Suga, Diagonal Phase, 1969/2012
- Carol Cool, “Upside Down” / Michael Heizer, North, East, South, West, 1967/2002
- Daft Punk, “Giorgio by Moroder” / Richard Serra, Elevational Wedge, 2001
- The New York Dolls, “Personality Crisis” / Robert Ryman, The Paradoxical Absolute, 1958
- Gustav Mahler, Sinfonie Nr. 1. “Titan” / Anne Truitt, Echo, 1973
- Gary Numan, “Observer” / Bruce Nauman, Mapping the Studio I (Fat Chance John Cage), 2001
- Caravaggio, “Encerclés” / Lee Ufan, Relatum, 1974/2019
- Young MC, “Bust a Move” / Franz Erhard Walther, 1. Werksatz (First Work Set), 1963–69/2010
- Ramón Ayala y sus Bravos del Norte, “Un puño de tierra” / Michelle Stuart, Sayreville Strata Quartet, 1976
- Cat Power, “Manhattan” / Max Neuhaus, Times Square, 1977/2002
- Culture Club, “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me” / Joseph Beuys, Fond III/3, 1979
- Ismael Rivera, “El difícil fácil” / Charles Gaines, Shadows series, 1978–80
- Les Rita Mitsouko, “C’est comme ça” / Dan Graham, Rooftop Urban Park Project/Two-Way Mirror Cylinder Inside Cube, 1981/1991
- The Fibonacci Sequence, “Book of Hours” / Mario Merz, Tavola a spirale (Spiral Table), 1982
- Óscar Chávez, “Petróleo” / Bernd and Hilla Becher, Detail of Petrochemical Plant, Wesseling near Cologne, Germany, 1992
- The Clash, “Rebel Waltz” / François Morellet, No End Neon, 1990/2017
- Michael Jackson, “Man in the Mirror” / Gerhard Richter, Six Gray Mirrors, 2003
- Mercedes Sosa, “Todo cambia” / Joan Jonas, The Shape, the Scent, the Feel of Things, 2004
- The Replacements, “I’ll Be You” / Vera Lutter, Studio, IX: November 5 - December 15, 2003, 2003
- Aretha Franklin, “Think” / Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, chronotopes & dioramas, 2009
- Alison Krauss & Robert Plant, “Please Read the Letter” / Jean-Luc Moulène, Monochromes/Samples 2, 2011
- Prince, “17 days” / Roni Horn, Post Work III, 1986–87
- Patti Smith, “Redondo Beach” / Robert Irwin, Untitled, 1965–67