Every time we play a song from a record, we are participating in a multimillion-year transference of energy, from the life-giving light of the sun to the heartbreaking sound waves of any number of singers.
Dario Robleto’s multidisciplinary practice combines references to history, music, philosophy, science, religion and popular culture.
Vinyl records are often present in Robleto’s work. I Want You To Say Goodbye To Substance is part of an earlier body of work exploring vinyl as a format for social and political dialogue.
Visually inspired by the vibrant patterns of 1960s and ‘70s-era album covers, this imagined LP cover depicts a silhouetted figure encircled by the phrase “I Want You.”
The figure’s outstretched arms form a radiating, sun-like peace sign in the center, emblematic of the psychedelic visuals and nonviolent lifestyle espoused by hippie culture. Robleto’s work is curiously oxymoronic; “I Want You” evokes the phrase emblazoned above Uncle Sam on World War I recruitment posters, yet the work’s iconography derives from a pacifistic counterculture that criticized the Vietnam War.
This conflation of opposing perspectives allows Robleto to assume the role of a DJ by sampling and remixing histories, creating a portrait of competing ideologies in the United States through album design.
I Want You To Say Goodbye To Substance joins two other works in the collection by Robleto that relate to music.
Dario Robleto, Lamb of Man / Atom and Eve / Americana Materia Medica, 2006–2007.Installation of three panels of colored paper, cardboard, ribbon, foamcore, glue, willow, acid-free archival paper, and UV Plexiglas, 60 x 60 x 4 3/4 inches (152.4 x 152.4 x 12.1 cm) each. Museum purchase with additional funds provided by Dr. Peter H. Klopfer, the children of Marilyn M. Segal in her honor, and the bequest of Viola Mitchell Fearnside, by exchange.
Dario Robleto, A Phantom Attempts to Sing as She Once Did on Earth, 2004.Carved de-carbonized bone dust, dehydrated bone calcium, ground amino acids, reel to reel audio loop of a female ghost humming a lullaby made from an E.V.P. recording (Electronic Voice Phenomena: voices and sounds from the past, detected through magnetic audiotape) recorded at a Civil War reenactment at Gettysburg, melted bullet lead, rust, velvet, mahogany, fir, water extendable resin, and typeset, 11 × 2 × 11 inches (27.94 × 5.08 × 27.94 cm). Gift of Blake Byrne, A.B.’57.
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