Anri Sala

Anri Sala
October 1 – November 20, 2011

Score, 2011

Score of Le Clash, 2010, for barrel organ, carved into wall

In the referenced work, performers play renditions of the song Should I Stay or Should I Go by The Clash through a barrel organ and a music box outside a derelict concert hall in Bordeaux.

 

Photo © Sylvain Deleu

Score, 2011

Score of Le Clash, 2010, for barrel organ, carved into wall

In the referenced work, performers play renditions of the song Should I Stay or Should I Go by The Clash through a barrel organ and a music box outside a derelict concert hall in Bordeaux.

 

Photo © Sylvain Deleu

Score, 2011

Score of Le Clash, 2010, for barrel organ, carved into wall

In the referenced work, performers play renditions of the song Should I Stay or Should I Go by The Clash through a barrel organ and a music box outside a derelict concert hall in Bordeaux.

 

3-2-1, 2011 (detail)

Live performance featuring André Vida on saxophone responding to Long Sorrow

The referenced work, Long Sorrow, is a succession of tinted situations. Its protagonist is the free jazz saxophonist Jemeel Moondoc. In the film, the musician’s improvisations build a cathedral of sound, imbued with a sense of mounting tension.

 

Photo © Sylvain Deleu

3-2-1, 2011

Live performance featuring André Vida on saxophone responding to Long Sorrow

The referenced work, Long Sorrow, is a succession of tinted situations. Its protagonist is the free jazz saxophonist Jemeel Moondoc. In the film, the musician’s improvisations build a cathedral of sound, imbued with a sense of mounting tension. 

 

Score, 2011 (detail)

Score of Le Clash, 2010, for barrel organ, carved into wall

In the referenced work, performers play renditions of the song Should I Stay or Should I Go by The Clash through a barrel organ and a music box outside a derelict concert hall in Bordeaux.

 

Photo © Sylvain Deleu

3-2-1, 2011

Live performance featuring André Vida on saxophone responding to Long Sorrow

The referenced work, Long Sorrow, is a succession of tinted situations. Its protagonist is the free jazz saxophonist Jemeel Moondoc. In the film, the musician’s improvisations build a cathedral of sound, imbued with a sense of mounting tension.

 

Score, 2011

Score of Le Clash, 2010, for barrel organ, carved into wall

In the referenced work, performers play renditions of the song Should I Stay or Should I Go by The Clash through a barrel organ and a music box outside a derelict concert hall in Bordeaux.

 

Photo © Sylvain Deleu

3-2-1, 2011

Live performance featuring André Vida on saxophone responding to Long Sorrow

The referenced work, Long Sorrow, is a succession of tinted situations. Its protagonist is the free jazz saxophonist Jemeel Moondoc. In the film, the musician’s improvisations build a cathedral of sound, imbued with a sense of mounting tension.

 

Score, 2011

Score of Le Clash, 2010, for barrel organ, carved into wall

In the referenced work, performers play renditions of the song Should I Stay or Should I Go by The Clash through a barrel organ and a music box outside a derelict concert hall in Bordeaux.

 

Photo © Sylvain Deleu

Score, 2011

Score of Le Clash, 2010, for barrel organ, carved into wall

In the referenced work, performers play renditions of the song Should I Stay or Should I Go by The Clash through a barrel organ and a music box outside a derelict concert hall in Bordeaux.

 

Photo © Sylvain Deleu

Score, 2011 (left)

Score of Le Clash, 2010, for barrel organ, carved into wall

In the referenced work, performers play renditions of the song Should I Stay or Should I Go by The Clash through a barrel organ and a music box outside a derelict concert hall in Bordeaux.

 

Tlatelolco Clash, 2011

HD video projection, Dolby Digital 5.1

Duration 11:49 min

Figures among the ruins of the Tlatelolco site in Mexico City randomly insert fragments of a musical score into a barrel organ, creating a disjointed version of the same song.

 

Photo © Sylvain Deleu

Tlatelolco Clash, 2011

HD video projection, Dolby Digital 5.1

Duration 11:49 min

Figures among the ruins of the Tlatelolco site in Mexico City randomly insert fragments of a musical score into a barrel organ, creating a disjointed version of the same song.

 

Photo © Sylvain Deleu

Answer Me, 2008

HD video, stereo sound

Duration 04:51 min

Filmed in a former surveillance station in West Berlin, the work narrates a woman’s attempt to communicate with her partner whose drumming drowns out her words, except for her recurring plea: “answer me.” 

 

Photo © Sylvain Deleu

No Window No Cry (Le Corbusier, Maison-atelier Lipschitz, Boulogne), 2011

Music box, glass, wooden window frame

No Window No Cry is a series of miniature brass music box cylinders enclosed in a sheet of glass. Hollowed at the center with a small concave area where the wind-up handle is located, the music box can be wound up and played. 

 

Photo © Sylvain Deleu

No Window No Cry (Le Corbusier, Maison-atelier Lipschitz, Boulogne), 2011

Music box, glass, wooden window frame

No Window No Cry is a series of miniature brass music box cylinders enclosed in a sheet of glass. Hollowed at the center with a small concave area where the wind-up handle is located, the music box can be wound up and played. 

 

Score, 2011 (detail; background)

Score of Le Clash, 2010, for barrel organ, carved into wall

In the referenced work, performers play renditions of the song Should I Stay or Should I Go by The Clash through a barrel organ and a music box outside a derelict concert hall in Bordeaux.

 

Photo © Sylvain Deleu

No Window No Cry (Le Corbusier, Maison-atelier Lipschitz, Boulogne), 2011 (left)

Music box, glass, wooden window frame

No Window No Cry is a series of miniature brass music box cylinders enclosed in a sheet of glass. Hollowed at the center with a small concave area where the wind-up handle is located, the music box can be wound up and played. 

 

Le Clash, 2010 (center)

HD video projection, Dolby Digital 5.1

Duration 08:31 min

In this work, performers play renditions of the song Should I Stay or Should I Go by The Clash through a barrel organ and a music box outside a derelict concert hall in Bordeaux.

 

Score, 2011 (detail; right)

Score of Le Clash, 2010, for barrel organ, carved into wall

 

Photo © Sylvain Deleu

No Window No Cry (Le Corbusier, Maison-atelier Lipschitz, Boulogne), 2011 (left)

Music box, glass, wooden window frame

No Window No Cry is a series of miniature brass music box cylinders enclosed in a sheet of glass. Hollowed at the center with a small concave area where the wind-up handle is located, the music box can be wound up and played. 

 

Le Clash, 2010 (center)

HD video projection, Dolby Digital 5.1

Duration 08:31 min

In this work, performers play renditions of the song Should I Stay or Should I Go by The Clash through a barrel organ and a music box outside a derelict concert hall in Bordeaux.

 

Score, 2011 (detail; right)

Score of Le Clash, 2010, for barrel organ, carved into wall

 

Photo © Sylvain Deleu

Another Solo in the Doldrums (Serpentine), 2011

Altered Brady snare drum, loudspeaker parts, snare stand, drumsticks

The custom-made snare drum conceals a set of inbuilt speakers, playing high and midrange frequencies (corresponding to the audible sounds) and inaudible low frequencies (that create vibrations on the drum skin, prompting the rat-a-tat of drumsticks).

 

Photo © Sylvain Deleu

Another Solo in the Doldrums (Serpentine), 2011

Altered Brady snare drum, loudspeaker parts, snare stand, drumsticks

The custom-made snare drum conceals a set of inbuilt speakers, playing high and midrange frequencies (corresponding to the audible sounds) and inaudible low frequencies (that create vibrations on the drum skin, prompting the rat-a-tat of drumsticks).

 

Photo © Sylvain Deleu

Title Suspended (Sky Blue), 2008

Resin hands, rubber gloves, motor

Sala references one of the most important works of art history: The Creation of Adam, one of Michelangelo’s central frescos. The fingers in the hands gradually fill out until they emulate Michelangelo’s figure perfectly. Yet in the very moment when the representation achieves absolute beauty, the gloved fingers collapse. 

 

Photo © Sylvain Deleu

Long Sorrow, 2005

HD video transferred from super 16 mm color film, stereo sound

The work is a succession of tinted situations. Its protagonist is the free jazz saxophonist Jemeel Moondoc. In the film, the musician’s improvisations build a cathedral of sound, imbued with a sense of mounting tension.

 

3-2-1, 2011

Live performance featuring André Vida on saxophone responding to Long Sorrow

 

Photo © Sylvain Deleu

Long Sorrow, 2005

HD video transferred from super 16 mm color film, stereo sound

The work is a succession of tinted situations. Its protagonist is the free jazz saxophonist Jemeel Moondoc. In the film, the musician’s improvisations build a cathedral of sound, imbued with a sense of mounting tension.

 

3-2-1, 2011

Live performance featuring André Vida on saxophone responding to Long Sorrow

 

Photo © Sylvain Deleu

Long Sorrow, 2005

HD video transferred from super 16 mm color film, stereo sound

The work is a succession of tinted situations. Its protagonist is the free jazz saxophonist Jemeel Moondoc. In the film, the musician’s improvisations build a cathedral of sound, imbued with a sense of mounting tension.

 

3-2-1, 2011

Live performance featuring André Vida on saxophone responding to Long Sorrow

 

Photo © Sylvain Deleu

Long Sorrow, 2005

HD video transferred from super 16 mm color film, stereo sound

The work is a succession of tinted situations. Its protagonist is the free jazz saxophonist Jemeel Moondoc. In the film, the musician’s improvisations build a cathedral of sound, imbued with a sense of mounting tension.

 

3-2-1, 2011

Live performance featuring André Vida on saxophone responding to Long Sorrow

 

Photo © Sylvain Deleu

Anri Sala

Anri Sala
Serpentine Gallery, London
October 1 – November 20, 2011
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Anri Sala is a contemporary artist who came to prominence for videos and films mining his personal experience to reflect on the social and political change taking place in his native Albania. Since his early works, Sala has attached a growing importance to sound, creating remarkable works in which he recasts sound’s relationship to the image. Linked to this development is Sala’s long-standing interest in performance, and particularly musical performance. A central premise of this exhibition was that most of the works presented at the Serpentine either used a live performance as their starting point or could lead to a performance in the future.

 

The exhibition was conceived as a cycle, or loop, structured around pairs of works that echoed each other. Answer Me (2008) was filmed in the abandoned dome of a Buckminster Fuller-designed surveillance station and uses the structure’s unique architecture to investigate the effect of space on the production of sound. The dome’s distinctive echo, triggered in the film by a man playing the drums in the large, empty space, drowns out all of the dialogue spoken by the female character, with the exception of the words that give the film its title. The drum that is ‘played’ by the dome’s echo in Answer Me appeared in the first room of the exhibition as Doldrum, a snare drum activated by the inaudible low frequencies of the film’s soundtrack.

 

Two of Sala’s most recent films deconstruct and reconfigure a well-known punk song. In Le Clash (2010) performers play renditions of the song “Should I Stay or Should I Go” through a barrel organ and a music box outside a derelict concert hall in Bordeaux. While in Tlatelolco Clash (2011) figures among the ruins of the Tlatelolco site in Mexico City randomly insert fragments of a musical score into a barrel organ, creating a disjointed version of the same song. Both films played at the same time in the exhibition; the continuous and disjointed renditions of the song echoed each other across the gallery space.

 

Accompanying Le Clash was No Window No Cry (2011), a window fitted with a music box that plays the same song as its counterpart in the film. Visitors were invited to play the music box, adding a further layer to the film’s soundtrack. Alongside Tlatelolco Clash, Sala presented Title Suspended (Sky Blue) (2008), a sculpture in which two gloves rotate slowly, briefly assuming the shape of a pair of complete hands once in each rotation. The rubber hands mirror the hands seen feeding the score into the barrel organ in Tlatelolco Clash, their continually collapsing form reflecting the ruptured melody of the film. For Score (2011) the barrel organ’s score is given a different form. The perforated pattern is carved through walls covering the windows, translating sound into a different materiality and creating openings to the outside that allow the sounds of the park and the gallery to intertwine.

 

Long Sorrow (2005), filmed on a public housing estate in Berlin, is an enigmatic record of a performance orchestrated by the artist. Sala invited noted free jazz musician Jemeel Moondoc to perform while suspended outside the window of an empty apartment on the eighteenth floor. For the Serpentine, Sala staged the performance 3-2-1 (2011), in which saxophonists Andre Vida and Caroline Kraabel responded live to Long Sorrow in a series of daily performances. 3-2-1 begins with one of these saxophonists accompanying an audio recording of Moondoc’s improvisation with his own earlier performance on film, resulting in a ‘trio’: the film, the audio recording and the live performance. The saxophonist at the Serpentine then played live with Long Sorrow, a ‘duet’, before finally performing a solo after the film ended. 3-2-1 punctuated the fixed cycle of the show with an improvised element, integrating the strands of film and performance that run through Sala’s work. Vida improvised live in the exhibition throughout October and November, undertaking more than 400 performances in response to Long Sorrow during this period, exploring the tension this sets up between repetition and improvisation.

 

Concurrent with the Serpentine Gallery exhibition, Artangel presented a film by Anri Sala.

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