Excerpt from Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Sunday review: ‘Listening to Mitchell” captures sounds, images of a Milwaukee thoroughfare.
All of these voices are knit together in a way that has more of a point of view than is at first apparent, a subtle perspective about the commonalities among divergent voices. These are people who feel a sense of ownership over their neighborhood and memories of it, such as the homemade roller rink or the all-you-can-eat chicken lunch at Goldmann’s. Even the ambient sounds — the church, bicycle andpaleta food cart bells, for instance — are married in a way that draws our attention in poetic ways.
Despite this subtle working of the material, the sound installation is also raucous and chaotic at times, with voices in competition with each other. Not unlike the clanging, look-at-me nature of the ads outside (even the church has a blinking digital sign!), this seems a fitting response to the nature of the place. Voices do compete.
Stepping outside of the immersive installation and back onto the street, I found certain sounds turned my head in a way they hadn’t beforehand. “Listening to Mitchell” has attuned me to this place and articulated something about its diversity, and by that measure, the project is wonderfully successful.
– Mary Louise Schumacher, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Art Critic