In sound there are a certain set of ideas and concepts that are heavily tied up in sound, and for them to transgress into something within the documenta is not an easy translation. Of course the translation is easier to translate to some formats over other formats such as in sports or, particularly with dance. At the same time however we have problems within societies that are very difficult to solve, and yet in formats such as music or sport they are easily understood; i.e I found myself really enjoying a USA vs Iran final in wrestling at the Olympics in London whilst tensions were being reported in newspapers at the same time. So it seems very logical that sound has it’s place at the documenta, as does concepts from physical activities such as dance. Integrating sound into the documenta seems a difficult fit, because sound has a property that understands concepts seriously, and understands them well, and is comfortable with understanding these in it’s own media.
Here in this picture we have a set of wooden blocks along a long table, neatly laid out as part of a sound installation. They relate to the sound they make, but it’s difficult to reach out and, touch them. At least it’s physically easy to touch them, however to make that disturbance at an art exhibition it’s a little more difficult to consider. The sound in the hall however is of a set beat, sounding more like the sounds of a distant bombing noise. The interpretation of this, goes on, but the sound remains the same, it’s none changing it has a sense of boredom, rigidity, and conforms. Yet music has a habit of changing, evolving, and has a constant ability to do this; as music understands change well. Music also works well for the 2012 French presidential elections, particularly on the change theme for Francois Hollande. However to make this change possible without music as a gimmick remains difficult, it’s like it demands a deliberate hand to reach out and touch those blocks. We have to cause a disturbance, whereas in music we would just change things about and, play.
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This post was written by colin