For two years, the VOICE:over programme series is dedicated to the phenomenon of the voice. With interdisciplinary exhibition projects, performances, an opera installation and a diverse discourse programme, VOICE:over presents diverse phenomena of the voice at Galerie Nord | Kunstverein Tiergarten. VOICE:over explores the changing relationship between the human body and the voice as well as its technical-digital reproducibility in our age.
Image above: Manaf Halbouni: ECHOS, 2020, Photo by Halbouni
What kind of voices are recognised as such within our social power dynamics? What possibilities do other voices have to be heard? In postcolonialism, gender and queer studies, the examination of the voice of others and how they are heard is of central importance. The question of who can and may speak for whom is currently more explosive and virulent than ever. The voice as a means of communication and as a medium of artistic expression has undergone an essential change in and through the Covid 19 pandemic: between digital growth in significance and real loss of significance.
The projects negotiate the spectrum of the voice as a medium within the medium itself – from shouting to speaking to singing:
Speaking as an instrument of co-determination is the focus of several projects: The exhibitions MITbeSTIMMEn ( April 14th – May 28th 2022) and Queer Voices of the Eighties (December 2022) as well as oral archives such as HERstory (August 26th-30th 2022) take up the contexts of speaking and form an audiovisual analogue and digital resonance space for marginalised voices of feminist, queer and postcolonial reflection. Catherine Lorent, representing neo-pop, explores the concept of the Gesamtkunstwerk, combining visual art with voice, song, metal music and performance ( June 10th – July 30th 2022).
The mono-opera installation in the outdoor space La voix humaine – Das Pferd frisst kein Gurkensalat (August 10th-13th, 2022) simultaneously reflects the mutual reference of singers and listeners in the gallery spaces and in a telephone booth.
The exhibition series ends in 2023 with a project that focuses on the oral deepfake. The term deepfake refers to the manipulation of images, videos and/or audio tracks of human faces, bodies or voices with the help of artificial intelligence. Computers are already capable of constructing – faking – speeches never given by politicians on the basis of ninety spoken words and linking them to videos and image files. This poses a political and ethical challenge to credibility.
Project 1 | April 14th – May 28th 2022 | Opening: April 13th, 7 pm
The possibility and ability to speak with one’s own voice touches on moral-legal responsibility. The exhibition shows the tension between the voice as a bodily phenomenon and the voice as a political and social form of expression. The voice acquires political traits in institutional practices such as voting rights, casting and counting votes, as well as in the conflict-laden form of unanimity and polyvoting. The works presented in the exhibition MITbeSTIMMEn by artists with a migration background, all of whom live in Berlin, refer both to their current social right of co-determination and to history.
Artists: Urban art (Anne Peschken and Marek Pisarsky), Nasan Tur, Mehtap Baydu, Ewa Partum, Michał Martychowiec, Manaf Halbouni, Timea Ovarecz, Sejla Kameric, Vitalii Shupliak; Curator: Marta Smolinska
Project 2 | June 10th – July 30th 2022
Catherine Lorent: Religation (working title)
Catherine Lorent‘s hybrid work, which moves between music (experimental metal) and visual art, challenges established categories and integrates painting, drawing, sculpture, performance and theatrical settings in various installations. Lorent is inspired by the baroque Gesamtkunstwerk and combines, for example, expressive drawings with guitars that independently generate sounds via interfaces. In Lorent’s real-time polyphony, layers of geometric shapes, monochromatic surfaces and ornamental figurations overlap in paintings and drawings and, together with sound compositions, form a complex layering of metal, dada and wild excess.
Artist: Catherine Lorent; Curator: Veronika Witte
Project 3 | August 10th – 13th 2022
Mono-opera installation in an outdoor space
La voix humaine – The horse does not eat cucumber salad
“The horse won’t eat cucumber salad” is the first sentence transmitted when the telephone was invented. “La voix humaine”, a mono-opera by the French composer Francis Poulenc based on a 1930 play by Jean Cocteau deals for the first time in opera literature with the decoupling of the human voice from the spatial reference system of those singing and those listening. The mono-opera premiered in 1959 at the Opéra Comique in Paris and depicts a monologue by a woman communicating by telephone with her former lover. Musical pauses intonate the possibility of technical malfunctions or question the real presence or absence of the other. The ambivalence of communication by means of historical and contemporary techniques, of understanding and being understood, the loneliness of the echoless voice are central themes of this opera installation.
The monologue will be staged live in the rooms of Galerie Nord and simultaneously transmitted to a telephone booth in the public space. A performer and a sign language speaker and further text fragments from other sources will be integrated into the monologue as additional levels of communication and narration.
Artists: Inga Levant (staging), Zoe Leonard (singing), Rafal Dziemidok (performance), performer sign language, pianist: Markus Zugehör, installation: Dragan Matic; Curator: Veronika Witte
Project 4 | August 26th – 30th 2022
Oral Archives: Part 1 – Participatory Installation
The two-part project consists of a workshop and an exhibition. It presents three archives developed by artists from local communities with which the artists are connected. HERstory (since 2012) is a compendium of oral, web-accessible interviews that artist Pascal Lièvre and curator Julie Crenn have conducted and continue to conduct on gender and sexuality discourses in art. The archive, originally started in France, will be expanded with queer-feminist actors as a participatory installation with Berlin protagonists and integrated into an exhibition in April 2023. (Archival Echo Part 2 – Exhibition in April 2023)
Artists/activists: HERstory (Pascal Lièvre+ Julie Crenn, France) Curators: Eva Bentscheva and Lisa Paland, Veronika Witte
Project 5 | September 27th – October 22nd 2022
About Screaming – About War (Working title)
The exhibition “About Screaming” will be presented to refugee artists from Ukraine as a platform for their artistic expression. In addition to expressing horror at the war in Ukraine, the project is also about the meaning of screaming as a borderline phenomenon of vocal and linguistic expression. Better understanding the language of pain, despair and rage can be another goal of the exhibition. The planned positions explore the scream in its acoustic materiality and musical form. In the scream, the voice is the object and it speaks in a language still largely unknown to us.
Artists: N.N. (refugee artists from Ukraine) Curator: N.N. and Veronika Witte
Project 6 | December 2022
Queer voices of the 1980s and their accomplices from the now (working title)
The exhibition project is a cooperation between the Kunsthaus Hamburg and Lothringer 13 in Munich. It is dedicated to the Berlin artist Tabea Blumenschein and her contemporaries Hilka Nordhausen and Rabe Perplexum. The project shows the similarities and the influence of these three marginalised radical and daring queer artists of the 1980s on today’s generations of artists and thus creates a historical connection to today’s gender debate. What is special about the exhibition project, apart from the art-historical reappraisal, is the artistic penetration of these positions of the 1980s by three young contemporary positions. By means of archive material, photos, audio and film documents, they enter into a cross-generational dialogue and form a current reference in the form of expansive multimedia performative environments.
Artists: Tabea Blumenschein (1952-2020), Hilka Nordhausen, (1949-1993) Rabe Perplexum (1956-1996), Angela Stiegler (1987) Ergül Cengiz (1975), Philipp Gufler (*1989); Curator:s: Burcu Dogramaci and artists (in cooperation with Lothringer 13 Munich and Kunsthaus Hamburg)
A two-year cross-disciplinary programme series 2022-2023.
Vernissage: Wednesday, April 13th, 2022, 7 pm. Welcome: Veronika Witte; Introduction: Marta Smolińska
Exhibition dates: Thursday, April 14th – Saturday, May 28th 2022
Opening hours: Tue – Sat noon to 7 pm
Performance: Wednesday, April 27th, 2022, 7 pm. With Vitalii Shupliak
Exhibition tour: Wednesday, May 4th 2022, 6 pm. With Marta Smolińska
Don’t call it Art! Booklounge: Wednesday, May 11th, 2022, 7 pm. With Veronika Radulovic and Do Tuong Linh
Artists Talk: Wednesday, May 19th, 2022, 7 pm. Moderated by Marta Smolińska and Veronika Witte
Discussion: Wednesday, May 25th 2022, 7 pm. With PolMotion – Movement of Polish Women; Moderation: Berenika Partum
Galerie Nord | Kunstverein Tiergarten
10551 Berlin – Moabit