others

in collaboration with Christian Weiss

Format: installation (96 channel audio, 48 headphones, water)
Creation: october 2019
First exhibition: Villa von Amsberg (Braunschweig, Germany) as central part of the monographic exhibition “andere” about Alberto Bernal and Christian Weiss


andere


“In the case of the stranger, the union of closeness and remoteness involved in every human relationship is patterned in a way that may be succinctly formulated as follows: the distance within this relation indicates that one who is close by is remote, but his strangeness indicates that one who is remote is near”. (Georg Simmel)

This installation is a radical invitation to listening: listening to people being silent.
Visitors enter a room full of water. Suspended from the ceiling are a multitude of headphones. On entering the room, visitors may initially think that there is nothing to hear. Gradually, however, sounds start to be perceptible: the rustling of clothes, the clearing of throats, coughing, breathing… Putting on a pair of headphones brings the visitors even closer to this others that surround them acoustically.
This installation makes audible what cannot usually be heard: the sound of physical presence. It focuses on people and makes it possible to experience acoustically their collective existence. The human condition itself takes centre stage.
For the production of the installation, 48 anonymous persons were gathered in a small room, each person having a sound recorder with a binaural stereo microphone over their ears, capturing every individual sound perspective (exactly what they hear) which would later be individually transferred to every one of the 48 headphones of the installation. Every time the installation is presented in a different place, this recording process is repeated with different persons, whose recordings are added to the already existing ones, forming a multitude of others, with dissimilar ages, origins and social profiles. We don’t know anything about this others, only that they here now in this space in which they just silently stay.
In their bare physical presence, all humans become equal.

fotos: Johannes Giering, Priska Dolling