Trailer: KUB 2016.01 – Susan Philipsz
Night and Fog
30 | 01 — 03 | 04 | 2016
Scottish born Susan Philipsz is one of today’s leading artists. Her work revolves around a melancholic existentialism and explorations of the human voice. The majority of her acoustic works are site specific. In 2010 she won the prestigious Turner Prize.
The point of departure for her current project for Kunsthaus Bregenz is Peter Zumthor’s architecture, which has been conceived as an illuminated structure between mountain and lake, creating an interplay between differing light conditions and the fog that is typical of the town. Fog as a metaphor was also the source of the title for the French documentary Night and Fog by Alain Resnais from 1955, which reconstructs the deportations to Auschwitz and Majdanek – addressing memory within these places themselves. Philipsz has deconstructed the soundtrack, composed by Hanns Eisler for the short film, into the individual voices of the instruments. Isolated and removed from the overall composition, their timbres fill the seemingly archaic spaces of the Kunsthaus with an almost sculptural presence.
Concerning the two exhibitions the artist has written:
»The Kunsthaus Bregenz has a very special atmosphere. Situated on the misty shores of the Bodensee I read that the architecture was inspired by the filtered light that rises from the lake. In January I imagine the light to be filtered by the fog and the deep space of the Bodensee is partially obscured by the atmosphere. Inspired by the natural atmosphere of the location I would like to extend my project to explore the history of the region. At Kunsthaus Bregenz I would like to explore disappearance, obscurity and absence, merging the atmospherics of the site with a deeper historical perspective.
The Kunsthaus Bregenz has four levels, which are connected to each other through a steep staircase. […] Working with this architectural feature I propose to record four separate parts of the same composition, Nuit et Brouillard with each part installed on its own level and with all four levels playing in synchronization. I have chosen to work with mainly wind and brass instruments to emphasise the air passing through the instruments and passing through the space. Each of the tones will be separated and there are gaps and pauses where the other instruments should be. At each level the work is different but the composition is reprised and there is a sense of repetition with sounds from different levels combining in unexpected places throughout the building.«
Trailer and Educational Film