VideoPerfume, Murmurings, Oratorio

site specific installation, Park Place office tower, Vancouver, Canada
National Gallery, Ottawa, Canada
Musee d'Art Contemporain, Montreal, Canada


detail from exhibition announcement


The work was first presented on the 31st floor of Park Place office tower. Although much of the building was occupied, this particular floor had never had a previous tenant. The piece consisted of several parts; a preliminary mailing; VideoPerfume; Murmurings; and Oratorio.






detail from VideoPerfume


Watching a video of a freight elevator moving slowly through the floors of an abandoned warehouse, the intimacy of the narrator's voice is heard through headphones. Some of the floors are sealed; others reveal industrial neglect. On one particular floor a Chopin nocturne can be heard.


I remember sitting at my mother's dressing table
when I was a young girl...and always lining the far side of the dressing table would be rows and rows of perfume bottles - she only actually used two or three - I remember the Lemon Verbana by Shelly Marks...






details, installation connecting VideoPerfume and the Oratorio


CATE RIMMER, Capilano Review: "...In Morgan's recollections the perfume bottle becomes a symbol of three women's relationship. Entangled with memories of it were expressions of love, estrangement, disillusionment and loss... The air of intimate confession which encompasses the piece enabled Morgan to forge a bond between herself and the viewers...


...I looked then through the larged windows that encircled the floor of Park Place. The entire city -- the commercial core, the North Shore, English Bay -- was visible. The cars and people below were so small as to be abstract, The isolation from the world one experienced while considering the scenes through the windows was an important element of the experience and the reason Morgan had chosen the site for her installation ..."





original installation on 31st floor of Park Place, Vancouver Canada

Hours of source recordings were edited into a musical structure, and the final composition played back as a 15 minute recital.

1.) The Oratorio begins with the final phrase of a Chopin nocturne

2.) the piano being slowly pried apart

3.) the soundboard resonating underwater

4.) a series of light arpeggios as rats ran across the strings

5.) bell-like sounds as the piano was slowly heated by a propane bar followed by bright crackles and deep chords as the soundboard itself caught fire

6.) and finally the explosion of a 357 magnum ripping through one of the strings.


excerpt (sound on)




independent site specific installation, Park Place office tower, Vancouver, Canada (and artist bookwork)
Songs of Experience National Gallery, Ottawa, Canada, curated by Jessica Bradley and Diana Nemiroff (and catalog)
Musee d'art Contemporain, Montreal Canada, curated by Manon Blanchette
(in the collection of the Musee d'Art Contemporain, Montreal, Canada)