Perspective #6: Audio/Vision

A perspective on the exhibition of VIDEONALE.19

Cinema has never been silent. Silent film, the expression referring to early motion pictures, is an inaccurate label, as these films were almost always accompanied by live music, or at times even by narration. Sound is often considered as an addition to the moving image, yet it is more than that – sound, music and voice in film transforms our experience, modifies and alters our perception. This Perspective invites viewers to listen carefully and pay just as much attention to the sounds and vibrations as to the moving image.

Descartes (Outtakes) by Alejandro Alvarado & Concha Barquero revolves around the documentary film Rocío, which had been censored in the early 1980s in Spain. While the original sound of these outtakes got lost, Descartes is unmuted. Its sound-texture evokes the materiality of the film rolls and the sound of a film projector, next to a recital of court documents and other texts. The end musical theme was created by composer Paloma Peñarrubia.

In DOOM, directed and choreographed by Layton Lachman, through Samuel Hertz’s composition we travel from the contemporary space-time of the club, accompanied by droning, distorted metal guitars. The high-volume sound moves us into soundscapes beyond human, from cracking icebergs to the movements of tectonic plates in deep-time dimensions.

In Alisi Telengut’s The Fourfold the multi-sensorial experience of the animation is accentuated by throat singing and sounds of the traditional musical instrument morin khuur, also known as the horsehead fiddle. The sounds flow together with the rhythm of the animation, recalling the shapes of a mountain, sea waves, swaying trees, and even brain waves. The piece is performed by the Tuvan music group Huun-Huur-Tu and The Bulgarian Voices Angelite.

In Ghost Light by Timoteus Anggawan Kusno the sound adds another layer of meaning to the dance performance, which revolves around the concept of monuments, ghosts and the absence of light. Through the interplay of image and sound we witness two performances simultaneously: the abstract flow of movement and the Foley process of sound creation.

Kris Dittel

If you want to experience this perspective, please have a look at the following works, in no particular order:

Timoteus Anggawan Kusno | Ghost Light
Alisi Telengut | The Fourfold
Layton Lachman | DOOM
Alejandro Alvarado & Concha Barquero | Descartes (Outtakes)

*This perspective was curated for the VIDEONALE.19 exhibition at the Kunstmuseum Bonn. As not all works selected for this perspective may be shown in the online archive, the programme can unfortunately only be viewed incompletely.

About the person

Kris Dittel is a curator, editor and occasional writer. Informed by her background in economics and social sciences, her curatorial practice reflects the social, political and economic context of her work. Her long-term research projects materialise as exhibitions, performances, publications, talks, public events, and other.

Image Credit: Alisi Telengut, The Fourfold (Detail), 2020 © Alisi Telengut

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