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Anne Le Troter
Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas, Texas
Recommendation by John Zotos

Anne Le Troter, untitled installation from the Nasher Sculpture Center’s “Sightings” series, installation view, 2019. Photo: Kevin Todora

Continuing through February 2, 2020

Working with sound and language, Anne Le Troter describes herself as an artist who uses sound as a medium, sometimes for the sake of sound itself, but also as a model to deliver language as the spoken word, which permeates this installation. Le Troter associates herself with Canadian artist Janet Cardiff. Her installation here proves to be a theoretical descendent of H.G. Well’s “The Island of Doctor Moreau” and Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World.” She completely transforms a small gallery into a waiting room by lining the walls and floor with carpet, placing several benches throughout, welcoming us to make ourselves at home and listen to the spectacle.

For an aseptic touch the floor has an added layer of cellophane. Speakers suspended from the ceiling twist and turn while they rise and fall on a system of armatures. They utter verbal phrases associated with people who work in a cryobank, a facility that collects and dispenses sperm to couples for insemination. The idea for the piece came from a chance meeting on a flight with someone who works in that field. Le Troter became fascinated with the entire process of how the donors’ attributes are presented to the clients. From eye color to intelligence, and race to health, the choices and motivations of the clients and the employees, who in effect market the sperm as a product, are verbally spoken as phrases voiced by the speakers. Those disembodied voices are haunting and to a degree disturbing as they speak the language of social engineering, reminding us that the “Brave New World” may already be here.

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