What does that mean: listening to the past? A Slightly Curving Place considers an archaeology of sound as a fundamental confrontation with the feeling that the past cannot be captured. The HKW (Haus der Kulturen der Welt) will show this exhibition from 23 July 2020, accompanied by a digital discourse programme and a publication.
The exhibition’s title refers to an expression from Prakrit, which comes from the cosmology of Jainism: “Isipabbhar” refers to a special place above the sky where the firmament appears curved like a parasol. Here the souls of the perfect live in eternal solitude. They are separated from the rest of the cosmos, cannot make contact with one another, cannot hear or be heard.
In the exhibition, an arch-shaped place is created not at the vertex of the universe, but under an ambisonic sound dome. An audience can gather here to trace a past that is no longer audible today. In another space, a dancing body rotates on projection screens and paints a picture of time that merges into another.
A Slightly Curving Place responds to the experimental approaches of sound archaeologist Umashankar Manthravadi, who uses self-made ambisonic microphones to measure the acoustic properties of pre-modern performance venues. The centre of the exhibition is a polyphonic, spatially staged audio piece that brings together contributions from literature, choreography, dance, acting, composition, music, field recordings and sound design. The participants not only take up the work of the others, but also let further suggestions flow in and transform them. The ambisonic dome consists of 21 loudspeakers and creates a three-dimensional sound field. It is provided by the Audio Communication Department of the Technical University Berlin.
Digital discourse program:
Coming to Know is a series of three digital events accompanying the exhibition, realized in collaboration with Brooke Holmes (Professor of Classics, Princeton University).
A volume accompanying the exhibition will be published by archive books in September 2020. With contributions by Umashankar Manthravadi, Vinit Agarwal, Moushumi Bhowmik, Padmini Chettur, Nida Ghouse, Alexander Keefe, Sukanta Majumdar, Maarten Visser.
The exhibition is created with the participation of and in cooperation with Umashankar Manthravadi, Bani Abidi, Mojisola Adebayo, Vinit Agarwal, Sukesh Arora, Anurima Banerjee, Moushumi Bhowmik, Arunima Chatterjee, Madhuri Chattopadyay, Padmini Chettur, Emese Csornai, Padma Damodaran, Hugo Esquinca, Jenifer Evans, Eunice Fong, Tyler Friedman, Janardan Ghosh, Brooke Holmes, Alexander Keefe, Sukanta Majumdar, Robert Millis, Farah Mulla, Rita Panjatan, Ayaz Pasha, TJ Rehmi, RENU, Uzma Z. Rizvi, Sara, Yashas Shetty, The Travelling Archive, Maarten Visser u.a.
A Slightly Curving Place
WHERE? HKW, John-Foster-Dulles-Allee 10, 10557 Berlin-Tiergarten
WHEN? 23.07.-20.09.2020, 14:00 – 20:00 Uhr, Wed – Mon, closed on Tuesdays
COSTS? Admission free