A climax of Mexican & German sound art

Stefan Rummel’s installation “verdichtete reflexionen” is a formally strict though very evocative piece. In this work, Rummel processes impressions that made an impact on him during his residency in Oaxaca, Mexico. A steep staircase sculpture that divides the space in half diagonally refers to the pre-Columbian location Mitla, the primary site for Southern Mexico’s Zapotec culture. Loudspeakers mounted within the sculpture emit sounds which Rummel recorded in Mexico and has processed electronically for the installation. For this exhibition, Rummel made a site specific interpretation of the work he made in Mexico.

IDEA: A large group exhibition in Berlin as a climax of a three-year residency and exchange project between Mexican and German sound art artists.

WHAT:  ‘entre límites / zwischen grenzen – berlin’ focuses on different aspects of the relationship between sounds and objects. The majority of the pieces at the exhibition were created over the course of several weeks during project residencies in Mexico and Berlin. The exhibition was already shown with great success earlier this year in Mexico City from late August to the end of October.

It is difficult to find a good location for a sound art exhibition, therefore its is really important for an artist to first see the space, that’s why we invite them for a week of pre-visit first, before start working there for a month or more. It was a real challenge for Markus (Bader) to find a way to separate the rooms acoustically, but we decided to give this experiment a chance.
— Carsten Seiffarth

The exhibition will open tonight (Nov 15,2016) with two live performances:  Arturo Hernández Alcázar will open his action sculpture ‘Swallow’ – a piece that takes up the current discussion concerning extreme right-wing political movements. For “Swallow” Alcázar employs audio recordings of right-wing demonstrations, news shows etc., processing them into a sound cluster, which is then projected into the exhibition space through an open wooden box via large horn loudspeakers. In the live performance, the box will be filled up with fresh concrete until the sounds cease to emanate from within completely. The solid concrete block will be destroyed with a pneumatic hammer drill around 15 January.

The concreet is connected with the working class, who voted social left in the past, and now vote strongly on the right. They make the voices swallow the cement, ironically these workers will also liberate these same voices by smashing the concreet.
— Arturo Hernández Alcázar

Guillermo Santamarina presents an action of several hours in length entitled ‘Frei von jedem Schaden!’, in which dozens of vinyl records will first be played and then thrown at a wall covered with fresh plaster, where they either remain lodged or shatter on impact – equally a symbol of the destruction of music as well as a creative, performative act of liberation.

Apart from the exhibition, there will be a Symposium ‘Perspectives of Sound Art – Mexico and Germany’ on November 26th, 2-7 PM, at the Mexican Embassy in Berlin.

WHY: The twelve artists present work that not only testifies to the enormous diversity within the genre, they also developed perspectives in their pieces that point to a realm existing beyond the artificial boundaries of the art world.

BY: Singuhr and the Goethe-Institut Mexico, at Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien and Schering Stiftung, curated by Carsten Seiffarth, with work from: Arturo Hernández Alcázar, Marcela Armas & Gilberto Esparza, Sam Auinger, Jens Brand, Mario de Vega, Hans Peter Kuhn, Manuel Rocha, Stefan Roigk, Stefan Rummel, Guillermo Santamarina and Rogelio Sosa

Marcela Armas & Gilberto Esparza demonstrate in their sound installation “Sideral” how the magnetic fields of an iron meteorite weighing 283 kilos housed in Berlin’s Archenhold Observatory can be transformed into pulsating sounds that cause a space to resonate. For this exhibition, Armas & Esparza made a smaller version of the work he made in Mexico, containing a video installation and a custom made magnetic fields reader.

Rogelio Sosa’s sound installation 'Nodal'  examines the relationships between sonic and visual processes and coaxes elastic strings with the help of electric motors into vibrating states, which the artist synchronises with a sound composition.

In his sound and video installation “Drehung”, Hans Peter Kuhn (*1952) demonstrates on the other hand a world caught up in constant motion. In “Drehung” there is no beginning and no end, no purpose and no objective, but no rest or stasis either. The piece consists of four different film sequences, whose spatial presentation creates the sense of a very slow moving though constant rotation – an impression that Kuhn enhances with an accompanying 10- channel sound composition.

Manuel Rocha’s sound installation “La síntesis de espacios” create their very own immersive environments. It implants a distant location into the exhibition space through acoustic means. The piece is based on a sonic analysis of all of the rooms of the Baroque church Ex Teresa, located in the centre of Mexico City.

Stefan Roigk works with formal quotations. In his sound installation “entfaltungen / desenvolvimientos” he processes plastic symbols and forms taken from everyday life, which he discovered over the course of his residency in Morelia, Mexico. The installation consists of a spatial arrangement of artefacts, in which sounds and objects are closely connected with one another. The objects are extended musically and sonically with the aid of a multi-channel composition consisting of noises and sounds, including the ever penetrating horn of Mexican (US owned) cargo trains.

Around the stairs are compressed reflections, while sub frequencies support the base of the temple, and gives the feeling it’s lifted.
— Stefan Rummel

Sam Auinger’s documentary work “Sounding Mexico City” presents the initial results of a six-week-long research residency in Mexico City. Together with urban planners and architects, Auinger investigated selected districts according to sonic and acoustic lines of inquiry. In the resulting audio and video documents which he has now chosen to present for the first time, he gives insight into the complexity of auditory research in urban spaces, opening perspectives for a re-interpretation of our modern urban landscapes in the process.