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FINISSAGE – Voices in an exhibition

I’m delighted to be exhibited at the Museum of Openness. At the invitation of MOO founder and director Alf Löhr, I produced a mini-/ collage opera for twenty-two voices and a bicycle. To watch the video by Alf Löhr and to download the libretto, please visit the MOO online.

museumofopenness.com

FINISSAGEVoices in an exhibition

A collage opera for twenty-two voices & a bicycle

by Gabor Stark, July 2021

PERSONAE DRAMATIS | A-Z

Theodor W. Adorno // Carl Andre // Hans Arp // John Baldessari // Joseph Beuys // David Byrne // John Cage // Nick Cave // Leonard Cohen // Marcel Duchamp // Kim Gordon // David Hockney // Agnes Martin // Taylor Mead Georges Perec // Lou Reed // William Rice // Kurt Schwitters // Nina Simone // Gertrude Stein // Karlheinz Stockhausen // Tom Waits // & a bicycle 

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anachoresis – upon inhabiting distances

Photography © Ugo Carmeni

Here the press release for, and a few glimpses into the Cyprus Pavilion at the 17th International Architecture Exhibition in Venice. For more info on Peripatetic Landscapes please visit the previous posts on this blog.

Cyprus Pavilion // Press release

“The Cyprus Pavilion at the 17th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia addresses the spatial experiences that occur when inhabiting distances becomes a paradigm for the development of new socialities. The notion of anachoresis, as explicated by Roland Barthes in “How to live together,” denotes an abrupt departure into spaces of atypical and idiorrhythmic manifestations of cohabitation. In the Cyprus Pavilion, anachoresis is introduced as an act that takes place on the convergence of urban-public and domestic-private space, where the distance between the two is blurred and inhabited.

The horizontal site-specific installation scales up one of the most archetypical structures and social objects, the table. Designed by Era Savvides and Nasios Varnavas (Urban Radicals) in conversation with Marina Christodoulidou and Evagoras Vanezis, it takes the pavilion’s original domestic typology as a point of departure, with the table expanding to a quasimonumental form. The architectural gesture unifies the indoor and outdoor areas, guiding one through a paced walk with spaces for pause and activation – implementing new protocols of distancing whilst balancing our need for being together.

The table’s foundations reference Cypriot landscapes, both raw materialities and terrains. The tabletop is fragmented and re-assembled into a mosaic of ‘islands’ which allow for cultural and social multiplicity of languages. Embedded into the surface are objects of play, infrastructure and craft, which archive narratives of collectivity and exchange by creating the basis for a cartography of places and characters, operating between local-global scales and rhythms.

Gathered on the table are proposals by architects and interdisciplinary groups from Cyprus and abroad, inviting reflections on the physical and social aspects of architectural practice. Through the perspectives of urban and domestic landscapes, queerness, play, architectural tradition, and technology, a micrography of fantasized communities is proposed.

The project re-envisions spatial relations by furthering into the mediums of sound and movement. In collaboration with composer Yiannis Christofides, the soundscape “Things in the Distance” amplifies the reversibility of the indoors and the outdoors, while the choreographic score “ANEW” developed as part of Michalis Theophanous and Georgia Tegou’s dance-as-design practice, suggests counter-structures to our daily acts and typical behaviours.

Anachoresis: Upon Inhabiting Distances is accompanied by a publication and a newspaper edition. The publication includes texts on the various thematics explored by the curatorial team and the project’s contributors, while it opens itself to projects and texts by invited collaborators. The newspaper collects articles by curators and exhibitors of this year’s Biennale, as well as other cultural practitioners, and is available as Free Press throughout the duration of the exhibition.

As part of the project, a series of collateral events will be announced via the Pavilion’s website and social media.”

17th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia

The Cyprus Pavilion 2021 // Anachoresis: Upon Inhabiting Distances 

Curated by Marina Christodoulidou, Era Savvides, Evagoras Vanezis, and Nasios Varnavas

Associazione Culturale Spiazzi

Castello 3865

30122 Venice

(Arsenale vaporetto stop)

May 22–November 21, 2021

Tuesday–Sunday

10:00–18:00

http://cypruspavilion.org

https://www.instagram.com/cypruspavilion/

https://www.facebook.com/cypruspavilion2021/

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peripatetic landscapes – handle with care

peripatetic landscapes by Emilio Koutsoftides & Gabor Stark

All casts completed; material samples, speaker and rack assembled; crate delivered to the drop-off point at Nicosia – ready to be shipped to Venice.

Link to audio track

17th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia 2021

The Cyprus Pavilion 2021 // Anachoresis: Upon Inhabiting Distances 

Curated by Marina Christodoulidou, Era Savvides, Evagoras Vanezis, and Nasios Varnavas

https://cypruspavilion.org

https://www.labiennale.org/it

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peripatetic landscapes – work in progress

peripatetic landscapes by Emilio Koutsoftides & Gabor Stark

Here some glimpses of the making-of of our sound sculpture for the Cyprus Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2021. The casting process is nearly complete, the rebar rack is welded, and we started to configure the object. We’ll (literally) wrap up everything by the end of March, ready to send the crate on its Grand Tour to Italy in April. More updates coming soon…

17th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia 2021

The Cyprus Pavilion 2021 // Anachoresis: Upon Inhabiting Distances 

Curated by Marina Christodoulidou, Era Savvides, Evagoras Vanezis, and Nasios Varnavas

https://cypruspavilion.org

https://www.labiennale.org/it

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Peripatetic Landscapes at La Biennale di Venezia 2021

peripatetic landscapes | ,pɛrɪpəˈtɛtɪkˈlan(d)skeɪps |

A project by Emilio Koutsoftides & Gabor Stark

Following on from a successful submission to the Open Call for the Cyprus Pavilion, Peripatetic Landscapes will be exhibited at the 17th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia from 22 May to 21 November 2021. Organised by the Cyprus Architects Association and the Cyprus Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports and Youth, and curated by Marina Christodoulidou, Era Savvides, Evagoras Vanezis, and Nasios Varnavas, the theme of the Cyprus Pavilion is Anachoresis: Upon Inhabiting Distances.

Our proposal plays with distance and proximity through the combination of material and sound sampling. The composite object incorporates material specimens of a Cypriot landscape and the transmission of field recordings of the same location. Using the surface of the sampled topography as the mould, sixteen plaster casts present inverted 1:1 replicas of the micro-geology of Lemba Valley in the Pafos District. The pristine white surface of the material is juxtaposed by mineral and organic residues captured during the casting process. Held in position by a steel rack, the stacked pieces form a stratigraphic cube which hovers over the surface of the exhibition table in the pavilion. The centre of this porous vessel holds a wireless speaker transmitting the sound of a looped audio track through the artefact’s crevices and interstitial spaces. The immersive sonic portrait comprises recordings of natural habitats and phenomena – wind, water, and bird calls – as well as cultural soundscapes – footsteps, ambient village and workshop noise. Removed from its original place of topographic and audio recording, the peripatetic object resonates acoustically, haptically, and visually. Its perception oscillates between that of a site-specific portrait of a distant geography and a scale-less object inviting visitors of the Cyprus Pavilion to project their own imaginary landscapes.

Here some images of our first test casts, drawings from the Open Call submission, and links to the demo version of the audio track, the Cyprus Pavilion and the Venice Biennale.

Coda

“Sound carries messages. It functions as a communicational medium. As a physical and spatial movement, sound carries a collection of information related to the conditions of the original object or body, and the related environment. Importantly, this information also grants animation to things: by stemming from an object or body, sound signals that movement is occurring, and more so, that life is happening.” 

Brandon LaBelle (2009)  // In OASE #78: Immersed. Sound and Architecture

The Cyprus Pavilion 2021 // Anachoresis: Upon Inhabiting Distances 

Curated by Marina Christodoulidou, Era Savvides, Evagoras Vanezis, and Nasios Varnavas

https://cypruspavilion.org

https://www.instagram.com/accounts/login/

https://www.facebook.com/login/?next=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FCyprus-Pavilion-la-Biennale-di-Venezia-2021-102585555002243

17th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia 2021

https://www.labiennale.org/it

Proud to be a DAD Guardian

I’m excited to take up my new role as a DAD Guardian. DAD Dover Arts Development is an artist-led not-for-profit limited company that functions as a collaborative framework within which its artist directors, Joanna Jones, Clare Smith, and Louisa Love, conceive, manage and deliver ambitious projects of artistic excellence within the visual arts, poetry, sound and music.

In December 2020, DAD appointed eight ‘Guardians’: Alice BryantCharles HollandColin PriestEdda Salander-JonesGabor Stark, Helen LindonRichard Bundy & Simon Bill. Their function is summed up in the term ‘guardian’ and the means is through a non-formalised structure where each, as well as helping steer DAD, can continue working on projects with DAD.

Founded in 2006 and established as a limited company in 2008, DAD has worked with over 150 visual artists, architects, designers, film-makers, musicians and writers as well as other local, regional, national and international partners on the delivery of art projects in and for Dover. The various art and placemaking projects instigated and managed by DAD have linked culture and heritage stakeholders and public authorities with each other and thus contributed to the revitalisation and activation of Dover’s cultural, public and civic realm.

For more information, please visit the DAD website

music for voices

OUT OF ISOLATION // Monday 14 September – Friday 30 October 2020 // UCA Canterbury, Kent, UK

I’m participating in a group exhibition at the University for the Creative Arts in Canterbury. Curated by Georgina Scott OUT OF ISOLATION showcases work that has been produced by UCA students, graduates and members of staff during lockdown.

“Since the end of March this year, we have all been forced to live our lives differently. We haven’t had the freedom to go where we like, to see who we like and to use the resources and spaces that are usually available to us. We have all had to adapt to living a more limited lifestyle and to be resourceful with our time, space and materials in our homes. This has led to a unique and vital period of reflection; on our own lives, on others’ lives and the world we are currently living in. The enforced lockdown has changed the way we create. We have been challenged to adapt the ways we make and have produced new and innovative artworks that directly respond to our isolated circumstances, creating a record of the different experiences of these unprecedented times.”

Above an installation view of music for voices, my piece in the show. In accordance with government guidance the exhibition is open to internal UCA staff and students only – but you can listen to my lockdown lullabies here:

soundcloud.com/precariousproposition

music for voices
Gabor Stark, 2020

tracks & voice samples

sound is acting // John Cage in ‘Écoute’, a film by Miroslav Sebestik (1992)
 
für florian // Florian Schneider in an interview with Brazilian TV (1998)
 
sad and beautiful world // Roberto Benigni and Tom Waits in ‘Down by Law’, a film by Jim Jarmusch (1986)
 
wide deep lake // David Byrne reading from the introduction to his book ‘How Music Works’ (2012)
 
asche der traum von sieben meisterwerken // Heiner Müller reading his poem ‘Herzkranzgefäß’ (1992) 

march // Percy Humphrey, bandleader of the Eureka Brass Band (1960s)

john baldessari’s dog // John Baldessari and Tom Waits in ‘A Brief History of John Baldessari’ (2012)

and we jumped into the sun // Colin McCredie reading ‘From a City Balcony’ by Edwin Morgan (2020)
 
je me souviens d’un homme qui dort // Georges Perec reading excerpts from ‘Je me souviens’ (1978) and 
Ludmila Mikaël, narrator in ‘Un homme qui dort’, a film by Georges Perec and Bernard Queysanne (1974)

dlya glavnogo // Lyrics & voice by Valeria Lissitzky (2020)
 
I don't want to be interesting // Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1960s) in 'The Oral History of Modern Architecture' (1994)

gente formidável // Lina Bo Bardi. Interview excerpt from LINA BO BARDI (1993), directed by Aurélio Michiles

For Edwin Morgan (1920-2010)

Here my birthday wishes to the Scottish poet and translator Edwin Morgan who would have turned 100 this year. I first heard him reading his poems in a book shop on Byres Road in Glasgow in the mid-ninties – and have been a fan ever since. My humble contribution to the concrete poetry genre is inspired by Morgan’s Emergent Poems from 1967.

Links

DAD Artists at Home

I’m delighted to be part of Dover Arts Development’s new project DAD Artists at Home. The format aims to support DAD’s community of contributors during the challenges brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic and provides digital outlets and promotion for their work in order to aid further connections between artists and projects. The project is led by artist and curator Louisa Love who invited the over 150 contributors of DAD’s network to share their current lockdown activities in the form of videos, photos, sound, writing and weblinks. Below my contribution. For more information and to see the work of the other featured artists please visit:

https://www.dadonline.uk/projects/dad-artists-at-home/ and #dadartistsathome

If there is one thing I could not complain about during the past three months of life in lockdown, it’s boredom. Online meetings, tutorials and project reviews with my students and colleagues at UCA easily filled my days alone at home (or is it work?) and did not leave me with too much time and headspace for other creative reveries. But since the academic year has finally come to an end, I have recently started to travel again, at least imaginarily, and delved into the wide world of sound – some call it music.

Inspired by John Baldessari, Pipilotti Rist, Martin Creed and other artists who have expanded their primary practice by venturing out into parallel musical adventures, I have arranged a couple of sonic vignettes by setting voice samples of other artists to music. Using excerpts from an interview in ‘Listen’, a documentary about contemporary music by Miroslav Sebestik, the first track features words of wisdom about sound, space and time by the American composer John Cage. Track two loops the proverbial “it’s a sad and beautiful world” – taken from the dialogue between Bob (Roberto Benigni) and Zack (Tom Waits) in Jim Jarmusch’s film ‘Down by Law’ – into a Sisyphean sonic mantra. The trilogy concludes with a humble musical tribute to Florian Schneider, founding member of Kraftwerk, who sadly passed away in April. The repeated Schneider dictum “Wir versuchen unser Bestes. We try our best” sums up my attitude as an amateur and novice composer quite well.

So, if you are not averse to sparse and minimal orchestration and a stubborn 4/4 beat, please listen to the three lockdown lullabies on SoundCloud:

https://soundcloud.com/precariouspropositions/sets/some-call-it-music

Tracks & Credits

sound is acting | 1:50 min. 
Voice sample: John Cage (1912-1992) in 'Listen’ (Écoute) by Miroslav Sebestik, 1992

sad & beautiful world | 5:13 min.
Voice sample: Roberto Benigni & Tom Waits in 'Down by Law' by Jim Jarmusch, 1986

für florian | 2:14 min.
Voice sample: Florian Schneider (1947-2020) in an interview for Brazilian TV, 1998