„To Hear is to See“ The exhibition „To Hear is to See“ („Hören ist Sehen“) contains over 180 works by artists from all over the world, and from 6th April 2017 onwards it can be seen and listened to in the project space MAG3 in the second district of Vienna. The artist and curator Gue Schmidt has come up with the idea in 1996, and the project started with a 20 hours selection from Ö1-Kunstradio productions. The first exhibition was in Colombia. From there it moved on to Germany, Mexico, Turkey, Hungary, the USA, Venezuela and Austria. After Graz and St. Pölten, the exhibition is presented in Vienna for the 18th time. Throughout April the 180 works can be listened to, and Kunstradio presents a small selection on air.
Densification 1-3 (0’48”)
”I have reduced space – there is nothing more to be said” (In the style of Ludwig Wittgenstein’s ”tractatus logico-philosphicus”)
During the years 2005 to 2006 Gottfried Bechtold was working on a presentation for a comprehensive show of his works in the Bregenzer Kunsthaus. His intention was to comprise not only the house in an exhibition, respectively in some installations, but also the space outside the Kunsthaus. The ensemble of sculptures entitled ”eleven eleven” was thus presented in its forecourt. This ensemble was made up of 11 casts of a prototype of the Porsche 911 series, which the Porsche Company had put at his disposal for these purposes. About 35 years earlier he had presented his first concrete Porsche, a cast of his own car, in Bregenz, later on (in 2001) a second one followed, the so-called ”Crash-Porsche”. During the production of the moulds for these casts as well as during the actual casting, a video documentation of these works was recorded. The sound fragments which can be heard here come from this video material; they establish a connection to the process of densification of the original form, i.e. the starting point for these sculptures. This original form – the original Porsche Carrera S-997 prototype – was densified in a junk press after the casting, i.e. ”compressed”, and was also exhibited within the framework of this show in form of a cube on the ground floor of the Kunsthaus. The photographic image again shows a model of the process.
- a symbolisation of senses (1’25”)
Plea for indeterminacies, or plea for determinacy, depending on the initial condition, point of view and topos.
Homeland Security, III (1’22’’)
This photo is based on a video serie and represents a continuation of my language based video works entitled "Basic Feelings" and "Basic Conflicts". The principle is always the same: a given sentence is uttered by me in all 11 of the languages I have been learning so far. In a situation comparable with that of a language lab, I repeat the same sentence in all these different languages touching on humor, absurdity and paranoia. With this new set of "homeland security" clips, filmed as police mug shots, I am making references to the newly created department of Homeland Security, that is most likely to bring us some kind of a quasi-totalitarian Big Brother police apparatus. Our homes will be subject to digital data mining and endless profiling – in a phrase: "homeless security" since it is becoming harder to feel our homes are actually home.
My 'homeland security" sequences start with Arabic, a language I have been learning only since 2001 and then ends with the more familiar ones. The sentences are simple and express a degree of paranoia: "I am not a terrorist" (1), "I am not a religious fanatic" (2), "I don't give money to terrorist networks" (3), "I don't know how to build bombs" (4) and "I am not downloading dangerous information from the Internet".
Amolador in dub (1’18”)
”Amolador” is a sound created by me along with a man who walks the streets with his whistle (amolador), calling the people who need to sharp their tools.
I have mixed this sound with one of the instrumental tracks of the master of the dub: ”scratch” Lee Perry. As typical dub characteristic I drenched the sound producing effects such as echo, vocal parts and reverb leading the instruments and vocals dropping in and out of the mix. ”Creo en el amolador que vive de fabricar estrellas con su rueda maravillosa...”/ ”I believe in the grinder who came to make stars with his wonderful wheel...”
From the Credo of Aquiles Nazoa (Venezuelan)
“To hear is to see, not to read”
The exposure time of the photo is 2’15”. That is just the length of Bill Haley’s “Rock Around The Clock”, the piece of music on the shellac that can be seen on the photo. The sound that can be heard for 2’15” is the sound of the final track on the shellac. The listener has to imagine the music – depending on his memories. In a little part of a hologram the whole information is also enclosed.
Invisible Sculptures 2 . Territorium – Yellow Zone (67’21“)
The recordings were produced in Moscow on three days in October 2006. All the recordings were made outside within the triangle of the streets Turgenevskays – Kitaj – Gorod – Zemljanon Val. That is the ”zone” of my childhood and youth, zone where so much was felt, where so much happened and where we went on so many promenades. Here, in my city which I ardently loved and hated at the same time – a feeling which will never repeat itself – I knew the sound of every street corner, I could find my way home my eyes closed. Today, 15 years later, the city has very much changed, its sound, like a breath, has changed: ill, asthmatic, with spastic, drunken laughter it is like a person running amok who has mistaken the bitter drug of consumerism for the sweet drink of peace. The city cries out for money and sex, greedy and insatiable. Nothing else is left. Almost nothing.
These recordings are documents of my attempt to touch the dying body of the city; of the attempt to leave my last sounds there, invisible little gravestones as signs of farewell.
Track 7: Zemljanoj Val, accordion
Track 8: Court at Cvetnoj Bulvar, tambourine
This new piece of work takes the theme of my original work for 'Hoeren ist Sehen' – 'to hear is to see' – the sound of water. In this case it is the Libyan Sea west of Paleochora, where the beach has been my outdoor studio for six months. The labyrinth of Cretan mythology can be found all over the island because of the action of water creating channels through the soft limestone rock. At the seashore strange sounds like bellies rumbling are created. A narrative word painting of a walk along the shore, a whispered reflection on unconscious/ancestral voices and the sound of the sea are the elements I have brought together.
Sound Engineer: Josef Schramm
Created at Metacom, Selinos, Crete.15th April 2007
Neither 0 nor 1
Portrait of Nikola Tesla (an aphonic poem)
Part 1 (2’57”) and Part 2 (3’22”), is a six minute, aphonic (unvoiced) sound poem in 2 parts dedicated to the mad scientist Nikola Tesla (1856-1943). Tesla pioneered the development of alternating current electric-power, wireless communications, and was credited by the Supreme Court of the USA as being the inventor of radio (1943).
BODY OPERATIONS (6’54“)
What do Bremerhaven and Body Operations, the title of an installation work with the same name, have in common? Nothing, but the fact that this installation could be seen in a city named Bremen almost 20 years ago and that the relationship between image and sound in the present exhibition, created almost by chance, corresponds very strongly.
But let's rather start once again: The sound comes from the background noise of an installation, which I developed in 1988 for a gallery in Bremen. The materials I used were photographs, painted over heavily and also fragmented (torn!!) in the negative process. Their motives were pictures of female and male torsi, which were first torn (the negative), then overlapped and finally changed until a completely new form emerged; varnish and acrylic additionally emphasized the dramatic movement. A light bulb was installed in front of each photograph. The walls of the room (the background for the pictures) were covered in black.
The sound collage, which was constantly repeated, consisted of the most diverse elements – a part of them were the sounds of breaking ice. This is the part I have filtered for this work and reworked in the studio until it resulted in an undetermined, dull sound conglomerate.
While looking for a visual equivalent I found a photograph from the year 1900 (Bremerhaven, 27.07) showing a regiment of soldiers listening to the infamous diatribe of Wilhelm (II.) just before they embarked to China in order to put down the so-called “Boxer Rebellion” together with soldiers of other world powers of the time. In the picture, which I have also reworked and changed, their outlines as well as their individualities are swimming (!). How many of them may have survived the (their?) matter? How many others did they force to give up their existence by carrying out their task? What may the sum be from there until now? A dull matter!
The sound piece bears witness, however abstract…
Frog trio (4’56“)
In the surface of the water
The reeds are recording voices
For the frogs.
Frog trio is a sound work for the voices of animals of the species water frog (Rana esculenta). The composition was created visually, noted down in the form of echoism. Per coaching the score, a chant for three voices, is being “translated” to the frogs involved.
Frogs have sex appeal in their voices.
Coaching: Asa Johansson, Christina Meißner, Christoph Ritter. Recording: Christoph Ritter