Anri Sala

Anri Sala

Haus der Kunst

Anri Sala, From the series “Manifestations of motion and affect,” 2014. Pencil and eraser on paper, 42 x 29.7 cm. © Anri Sala.

October 2, 2014

Der Öffentlichkeit—Von den Freunden Haus der Kunst:
Anri Sala
The Present Moment (in D)

October 18, 2014–September 20, 2015

Haus der Kunst
Prinzregentenstr. 1
80538 Munich

The commission Der Öffentlichkeit—Von den Freunden Haus der Kunst addresses a generation of artists who have developed a clear and challenging line of artistic inquiry. The annual commission is grounded in the idea of the central role that art and artists play in global debates. With this, Haus der Kunst wishes to acknowledge international artists who, over the course of their careers, exemplify and have demonstrated models of artistic excellence, conceptual rigor, experimental spirit, and whose ideas have had enduring impact in the field of contemporary art and its discourses. For the third edition of Der Öffentlichkeit—Von den Freunden Haus der Kunst Anri Sala (born in 1974 in Tirana, Albania) has proposed a multichannel sound and video installation. With this work, he intensifies his exploration of the relationship between architecture and sound.

The Middle Hall in Haus der Kunst, where the commissioned work will be exhibited, is approximately 800 square meters in size; its floor and door frames are red marble and its ceiling almost 12 meters high. For this monumental space, Sala has chosen—in productive contrast—an intimate format: The late romantic chamber music piece “Transfigured Night” by Arnold Schoenberg in its original string sextet version (Op. 4, composed in 1899) marks the starting point of his installation.

The Present Moment unfolds as the visitors pass through the doors into the hall. At the very beginning, a recording of a chamber music ensemble performing the original Schoenberg score is audible. This recording is supplemented by additional tracks, based on modulations of the score, as one progresses through the space. The tones of “Transfigured Night” wander across the hall, making their way toward the back. Upon their arrival at the end of the space, the sounds accumulate in constant repetition, as if “trapped in a cul-de-sac.”

Marking the end of the installation, a film is projected behind the row of columns. It shows a group of six musicians playing in a semicircle. The camera does not penetrate into their sphere, but gently brushes up against it. The soundtrack of the film assembles all the D-notes in “Transfigured Night.” Each musician plays a D-note repetitively, until it is replaced by the successive D-note in the original score. The shots are dominated by close-ups of elbows, forearms, and wrists, and highlight the physical effort involved in the act of playing music. Anri Sala conceptualizes this “chain production of notes” in reference to industrial models of the early 20th century: “It’s about a piece of chamber music that advances in space, generating sounds and prompting actions that were to happen only later in history such as the division of labor and its ensuing choreography of body movements.”

With The Present Moment, Sala takes his exploration of the interaction between sound and space, as most recently shown in the French Pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale in 2013, one step further. Through the greatest possible forgoing of materiality the artist explores a fundamental question, i.e. the notion of the present moment in an art form that is fleeting and ephemeral. Following the choreography of the installation, the visitor is invited to experience the piece from different standpoints. What does it mean to think of the “now” in music? Can sound enable an experience of the present?

A catalogue, with installation views and texts by Peter Szendy and Patrizia Dander, will be published in late 2014.

Anri Sala
The Present Moment (in D), 2014 
19-channel-sound and 1-channel-HD-video installation
With the Münchener Kammerorchester and Alexander Liebreich
Sound design: Olivier Goinard

Der Öffentlichkeit—Von den Freunden Haus der Kunst
Commissioned by Haus der Kunst and made possible by the generous funding of the Friends of Haus der Kunst

With the additional generous support of Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris; Marian Goodman Gallery, New York; and Hauser & Wirth

Technical realization with the kind support of Meyer Sound

Current exhibitions:
Georg Baselitz – Back then, in between, and today
till February 1, 2015

Stan Douglas: Mise en scène

till October 12 

Broken. Slapstick, Comedy, and Black Humor — The Goetz Collection at Haus der Kunst
till January 18, 2015

Coming soon:
Victor Man – Zephir
October 24, 2014–January 11, 2015

Capsule 01: Tilo Schulz
October 24, 2014–January 11, 2015

Capsule 02: Mohamed Bourouissa
October 24, 2014–January 11, 2015

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