Rhona Bitner
LISTEN: Imaging American Music

Blondeau & Cie

March 29, 2017

Rhona Bitner
LISTEN: Imaging American Music

March 23–April 29, 2017

Blondeau & Cie
5 rue de la Muse
1205 Geneva
Hours: Thursday–Friday 2–6:30pm,
Saturday 11am–5pm

T +41 22 544 95 95
F +41 22 544 95 99
muse [​at​] blondeau.ch


Following the exhibition STAGE in 2006, and the debut of “LISTEN” in 2011, Blondeau & Cie is delighted to present—on the occasion of the next Nuit des Bains on March 23 in Geneva—an exhibition of Rhona Bitner, LISTEN: Imaging American Music, New Work. The exhibition will assemble a selection of new work from her decade-long, encyclopedic project.

The closing of the legendary New York club CBGB in 2006, after 33 pioneering years of hosting landmark concerts, was a call to action for Rhona Bitner: a challenge to use her lens to record the unmistakable sounds of rock ‘n’ roll in the United States.

In the ten years since, she has traveled to over 85 cities in 27 of the United States, visiting and photographing fabled sites including clubs, concert halls, arenas, fields, homes, churches and recording studios—the spaces in which the epic soundtrack of a generation is engraved.

She has traveled the artery of rock and punk, followed the Chitlin’ Circuit, and created a visual map of the fabled history of American popular music. She has given a landscape to the physical and ephemeral experience that is live music.

The selection of photographs at 5 rue de la Muse this Spring takes us to the high school auditorium where a young Bob Dylan began to play, the halls of Folsom State Prison where Johnny Cash performed and recorded his iconic album, the Williamsburg Bridge where Sonny Rollins perfected his astounding comeback and the Michigan State University gymnasium in Ann Arbor where a young Iggy Pop was inspired by Jim Morrison.

Meticulous research as well as anecdotal tales and whispered references went into each trip and identification of venue. “LISTEN” is an encyclopedic work of both physical presence and visual recall. Bitner stands alone in the empty spaces. The rooms are silent. There are no musicians at the microphone or facing the mastering booth. Nonetheless their reverberations echo in the vault of our collective memory.

“The photographs she makes are lush, imbued with color, inviting, as if you’re on the guest list.” Lenny Kaye

Rhona Bitner lives and works in New York and Paris. She is represented in Paris by Galerie Xippas. Her photographs are included in the United States in the permanent collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago; The Wellin Museum of Art, Clinton (NY); and the Museum at California State University, Long Beach; and in France in the permanent collections of the Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris; the Fonds National d’Art Contemporain, Paris; and the Fonds Régional d’Art Contemporain Bretagne, Rennes.

A selection of photographs from the “LISTEN” series was shown in 2010 at the Rencontres de la photographie, Arles and in 2012 in the Museum of the California State University, Long Beach.

From May to August 2017, a new exhibition of “LISTEN,” organised by the Fondation Bru, will be exhibited at the Palazzetto Bru Zane during the forthcoming Venice Biennale.

High resolution visuals and a complete checklist of works in the show available by request.