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15.04.2020-15.05.2020

#playathome: A Selection from the Arter Collection

ARTISTS:
Nevin Aladağ
Ali Mahmut Demirel
Cevdet Erek
Ayşe Erkmen
Annika Kahrs
Mikhail Karikis & Uriel Orlow
Sophia Pompéry
Sarkis

Arter presents an online selection of video works from 15 April to 15 May 2020. Entitled #playathome, the selection features eight videos related to sound and/or music in various performative ways.


Selected from the Arter Collection to be played at home, these works explore the potential of sound to trespass physical boundaries and its ability to offer alternative ways to communicate, manifest, traverse and transgress.


 


Please click here to view the content of the second edition of #playathome.


 


Annika Kahrs
Playing to the Birds, 2013
Video (colour, sound)
14′


In the video Playing to the Birds, a pianist plays to domesticated song birds the first piece of Deux Légendes, St. Francis of Assisi’s Sermon to the Birds by Franz Liszt. Liszt’s piece was inspired by the Patron Saint of animals, St. Francis of Assisi, who claimed that animals and plants also have souls, and gave birds his blessing while addressing them a prayer. Playing to the Birds addresses issues of communication, interpretation and translation by way of an inversion. Whereas the music piece by Liszt attempted to imitate the “language” of the birds, the birds now become the listeners of a human and humanistic interpretation of their “language”. 


 


Cevdet Erek
SSS – Shore Scene Soundtrack, 2006
Video (colour, sound)
5′18′′ (loop)


In SSS – Shore Scene Soundtrack, Cevdet Erek performs a familiar sound from nature, the sound of waves on the shore by using a carpet and his two hands. In 2012, Cevdet Erek received the Nam June Paik Media Art Prize offered by Kunststiftung NRW [Arts Foundation of North Rhine-Westphalia] with his work SSS – Shore Scene Soundtrack.



Mikhail Karikis & Uriel Orlow
Sounds from Beneath, 2011–2012
Video (colour, sound)
6′47′′


The video titled Sounds from Beneath revives the lunar landscape of a coal mine located in South East England and disused since the 1980s through the sounds and current images of a former coal mining site. Invited by Karikis and Orlow, a choir of former miners informs the sonic aspect of the work. The choir members vocalise the subterranean, industrial sounds they used to hear on a daily basis inside the work pits, carrying them from beneath the ground to the surface of the earth.


 


Sarkis
In the Beginning, The Scream, 24.02.1998
3′05′′


Sarkis’ video series In the Beginning [Au Commencement] comprises his performances that are usually made with watercolour and reminiscent of poetic experiments or rituals. For this series, the artist recreates the images drawn from art history in a bowl of water, presenting the viewers the possibility to discern the flow, movement, speed and sinking of colour in water. In his video titled In the Beginning, The Scream from the same series, the artist moves his brush in homage to Edvard Munch’s painting titled The Scream (1893).


 

Ali Mahmut Demirel
The Hose, 2000
Video (colour, sound)
3′16′′


In The Hose, an early experimental video work by Ali Mahmut Demirel, the seemingly uncontrollable hose constantly spurts out water, moving erratically and creating sounds like a huge metronome.



Sophia Pompéry
Kawala Play, 2008
Video (colour, sound)
1′42′′ (loop)


In Sophia Pompéry’s Kawala Play, the continuous and soulful sound coming out of a kawala, an end-blown aerophone, slowly inflates a soap bubble. As the bubble grows, the image reflected on its iridescent spherical surface also expands and changes, creating a poetical play with notions of temporariness and perspective.



Ayşe Erkmen
Emre & Dario, 1998 
Video (colour, sound)
12′10′′ (loop)


Ayşe Erkmen’s video titled Emre and Dario focuses on the opposition between the orientalist viewpoint in Dario Moreno’s song about a Western man dreaming to find love, wealth and success in Istanbul and the simple and modern clothing and movements of the young man gleefully dancing along to this music. Erkmen’s work dated 1998 calls to mind the complexity, variability and fallacy of cultural stereotypes.


 


Nevin Aladağ
Raise the Roof, 2007
Video (colour, sound)
9′


In Nevin Aladağ’s work titled Raise the Roof, four women dance to the songs they hear on their headphones while marking the tar-covered surfaces they stand on by the heels of their stilettos. The titles and the durations of the songs they listen to are inscribed on their t-shirts. Performed on the rooftop of a former border section between East and West Berlin, these seemingly isolated women evoke a sense of harmony and freedom of movement, using music despite socially imposed restrictions.

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