We predict a riot. Of sound, colour, light and ideas…

Top band Kaiser Chiefs are coming to York to curate a unique and experimental exhibition at York Art Gallery.

Using their position as musicians as a starting point, the Leeds outfit have chosen to rethink sound as a medium.

The exhibition, called When All is Quiet: Kaiser Chiefs in Conversation with York Art Gallery will run from December 14 to March 10. The band will be inviting visitors to join them in exploring the edges between music, art, creation and performance.

Kaiser Chiefs, best known for tub-thumping hits like I Predict A Riot and Ruby, were invited by the gallery to work with their collection, and said they planned “to stretch ourselves, to explore the edges between music and art, creation and performance”.

A silent gig

For the exhibition the band have:

  • Brought together works by internationally regarded sound artists which have resonated with the band while on their travels and inspired them to look at sound in new ways
  • Created a silent gig – using light and colour and projected lyrics to create an immersive environment that offers visitors a reconfigured experience of a live music show
  • Selected a “set list” of songs in response to works from York Art Gallery’s collection that reference creation, production or performance.

Kaiser Chiefs said: “When York Art Gallery approached us as a band to work with their collection, we thought it sounded like an exciting proposition and wondered where it could lead,” adding:

  • As we started to look into the archive the works seemed to suggest connections with music beyond the approach of pairing or translating.

    We found that we were thinking about sound in a wider sense. We are not artists – we are musicians, and so we’ve chosen to use this opportunity to work with the gallery to explore sound as a medium – our medium – and to open that up further for us and for the viewer/listener.

    We are from the North, and are always keen to work in partnership with northern creative institutions, we need to make the most of these spaces, they are an asset and they are ours.

    We make music that we hope appeals to people of all ages and walks of life, we hope to work with York Art Gallery to create a show with a wide reach that is both creatively challenging and generous.

Thrilled to be working with them

Photograph: Richard McDougall
Jo Killeya, head of public engagement for York Museums Trust, said: “As experts in creating music and performance, Kaiser Chiefs offer us a distinctly different perspective on the creative process and a personal insight into the links between art and sound.

“They are masters of pop music and have explored our collections through the eyes of musicians, while hand picking works by artists who have pushed the boundaries of what art can sound like.”

More details of the artworks, sounds works and the silent gig will be released shortly.

It will be supported by a programme of events, workshops and performances as well as working with an artist in residence to explore the creative process of making music. The full programme will be announced closer to the exhibition opening.

Jo added:

  • The ‘Silent Gig’ will be a completely new and immersive piece of work created by Kaiser Chiefs and their lighting team especially for the exhibition.

    We are thrilled to be working with them and look forward to joining visitors on a journey that will see our collections interpreted and displayed in a truly original and inspiring way.

The exhibition will be included in the admission price of York Art Gallery.