La Monte Young, Marian Zazeela, <i>Dream House</i>, 1990

ExhibitionsLa Monte Young, Marian Zazeela, Dream House, 1990

From 16th of June to 10th of September 2018

Locations : Galerie 1
Category : Exhibitions
Discipline : Installation
Public : All ages
Author : La Monte Young, Marian Zazeela

The now legendary Dream House is a four-handed installation made up of light and sound created by composer La Monte Young and his wife Marian Zazeela.


It was after composing The Four Dreams of China in 1962, that La Monte Young became aware of his desire to “build musical pieces that could be played continuously, even indefinitely”. That same year he met Marian Zazeela a visual artist and musician; only a few months later, in August 1963, they designed together their very first optical and acoustic installation named “Dream House”. Marian Zazeela developed a system of evolving coloured lights attached to mobiles while La Monte Young used several Sine Banks, oscilloscopes, amplifiers and loud speakers in order to create continuous frequency environments. The music produced, made up of notes that can be held for an indefinite amount of time, impacts ever so slightly the light mobiles. New three-dimensional shapes spring from the shadows projected by combining several light sources.


Visitors, when visitors step into such a space, are bathed in light and music, literally immersed in colour and sound, and invited to experience all the subtlety of their nuances. Whether sitting or standing, still or moving around at leisure within the space, each visitor can appreciate the modulations in the acoustics caused by their own movements, however slight they may be. It is a unique experience that encourages introspection, meditation and dreaming. The spectator/auditor both sees the music and hears the colours in a pure synesthetic form of perception. Time seems to slow down and the relationship between space and duration begin to evolve to a place where reality and imagination meet.

In 1967, La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela met Pandit Prän Nath, an Indian Raga and Kirana style specialist. They became his disciples in 1970 and remained so until the Indian musician’s death in 1996. La Monte Young said of Prandit Prân Nath: “It is with him that I truly understood the meaning of the progressive transformation of a continuous note”. The first Dream House installation in an Art environment was at the Friedrich gallery in Munich in July 1969, over the following years many more were shown in the museums and galleries of Europe and the United States for short to long term periods: Fondation Maeght, Saint Paul de Vence (1970) ; Documenta V, Kassel (1972) ; Dia Foundation, New York, from 1979 to 1985 then from 1989/1990 ; Ruine der Künste, Berlin (1992) ; Centre Pompidou, Paris (1994-1995). In 1993, a Dream House was permanently installed at the MELA Foundation in New York. In 1998, the Lyon Museum of contemporary art asked Marian Zazeela and La Monte Young to exhibit their work in the definitive version which then entered their collections.