Opening of Part 2 of the Sound Art Exhibition “SKAN II”

Opening of Part 2 of the Sound Art Exhibition “SKAN II”
Publicity photo
Part two of the sound art exhibition “SKAN II” will open at the Botanical Garden of the University of Latvia on Tuesday, the 1st of July, at 6 p.m. The exhibition is part of the “Riga 2014” Programme’s thematic line “Thirst for the Ocean”.

As reported, the first part of the sound art exhibition “SKAN II” continued from the 31st of May to the 20th of June, whereas the third part will follow in August.

The opening of the second part of the exhibition will feature a special performance by Kiko Correa – a master whistler from the Canary Islands, who speaks the nearly forgotten whistling language called el silbo.

The performance is the basis for Heimo Lattner and Judtih Laub’s sound installation “Silbadores”. Also participating in the opening of the exhibition will be a DJ set by Tommi Grönlund of “Sähkö Recordings”, a Finnish label that has published records by, among others, “Pan Sonic” and Jimi Tenor.

The exhibition is organised by the adventurous music and related arts association “Skaņu mežs” in collaboration with the “Riga 2014” foundation. We interviewed Viestarts Gailītis, the head of “Skaņu mežs”, in October 2013: read the interview here!

The second part of the exhibition will run until the 20th of July, and its main venue is the Botanical Garden of the University of Latvia, therefore presenting an exciting synthesis of sound art, architecture, urban environment and nature. Several works will be displayed in other locations, including Evelīna Deičmane’s dedication to the wooden architecture of Pārdaugava, the first part of which will be on show from today, and the other part during the third part of the exhibition.

The sound artwork “Silbadores”, which we have already mentioned, focuses on the nearly forgotten whistling language called el silbo from Canary Islands. The sound installation will be showcased in the Palm House of the Botanical Garden until the 20th of July, but for the opening event it will feature a special performance by master whistler Kiko Correa.

Heimo Lattner and Judith Laub focus their attention on studying the mythological, phenomenological, aesthetic and political connotations of the voice. In 2012, they travelled around the island of La Gomera to study the whistled speech of el silbo. El silbo is a means of communication that transforms verbal speech into whistles. Originally, it served to ensure communication across great distances. A whistle can deliver a message across a distance of five kilometres, thus transmitting the human voice as far as possible without the use of any technical aids.

Since el silbo can transform any language into whistles, the installation at “SKAN II” will result in the first ever whistled text in Latvian and Russian. Latvia’s history will serve as a background for questions about the formation of cultural identities in a European context.

“A whistle means something evanescent, which cannot be unequivocally localised,” the artists comment. “And ultimately becomes a demonic figure.”

The second part of the exhibition expands into new territories – for instance, the Botanical Garden’s observatory will house an installation by the Swedish conceptual artists C. M. von Hausswolff and Leif Elggren, two acclaimed minimalist avant-garde musicians. Each floor of the observatory, including the basement, will be painted in a different colour, and each floor will present a different sound to prompt cosmic associations, making the building a kind of a receiver of signals from space. The two artists represented Sweden at the 2011 Venice Biennale; C. M. von Hausswolff also participated in the biennale in 2004 and 2005.

The full list of artists represented in the second part of “SKAN II”: Tommi Grönlund & Petteri Nisunen (Finland), Leif Elggren & C.M. and von Hausswolff (Sweden), Heimo Lattner & Judith Laub (Germany), Max Eastley (Great Britain), Anke Eckardt (Germany), Evelīna Deičmane (Latvia), RIXC and Voldemārs Johansons (Latvia).

The exhibition will also include German artist David Helbich’s “Riga Tracks”, which opened during the first part of “SKAN II”.

The second part of the exhibition will be followed by one more month-long exposition at the same venues, on show from the 25th of July to the 24th of August. A number of internationally-renowned artists, such as Edwin van der Heide & Jan-Peter E. R. Sonntag, as well as Latvian artists Voldemārs Johansons and Evelīna Deičmane will be featured in the third instalment of the exhibition.

The exhibition’s main supporters are the Foundation “Riga 2014”, EUNIC (European Union National Institutes for Culture) Global, the British Council, the Danish Cultural Institute, the French Institute, the Goethe Institute in Riga, the Nordic Council of Ministers’ Office in Riga, the Austrian Embassy, the State Cultural Capital Foundation, and the European Union’s Programme “Culture”.

The exhibition at the Botanical garden is open to visitors from Wednesday to Sunday between 1 p.m. and 6 p.m., entrance for adults – EUR 3.

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