SG / SD

2010

Soundinstallation
in collaboration with Zeena Parkins

 

In a first collaboration New York composer and multi-insturmentalist Zeena Parkins and Berlin artist Holger Friese present the new sound based installation SG / SD. The project offers a reflection on Kristallnacht: the night of broken glass, Nov 9th 1938. The horrific actions of this night, marked the beginning of the systematic persecution of the Jewish community.

The project offers a reflection on Kristallnacht: the night of broken glass, Nov 9th 1938. The horrific actions of this night, marked the beginning of the systematic persecution of the Jewish community in Germany and Austria.

The focal point of the installation is a vinyl recording produced by the artists.

Side A: Ekhe? a sonic meditation by Zeena Parkins based on field recordings made during a trip to Berlin in Spring, 2010. Zeena recorded sites in the city where in 1938 synagogues once stood, marking the existence of a vibrant Jewish community. Synagogues burned down during Kristallnacht and demolished in the years after, are now often occupied with a very different kind of life: Parking structures, playgrounds. apartment buildings, grocery stores. Seventy two years later, most synagogues are gone, with only memorial plates, to save them from total obscurity.

The acoustic presence of the original site is now disfigured or rearranged. Does some identifying sonic molecule hang stubbornly in the air, defying time and these horrific acts of violence? Perhaps there is nothing more than a simple and brutal non-existence that permeates this absence. Zeena Parkins investigates and reflects upon the acoustic traces of some of these synagogues destroyed on Kristallnacht. All that is left are the most ordinary city sounds of 21st Century Berlin, in which Zeena seeks to unearth the sonic ghosts: an echo, a memory, a deliberate reverberation, to this terriflying night.

Side B: 13 soundfiles cut as loops; Sine waves, gradually stepping up from 3300 Hz to 4500 Hz, each file represents one year of the Nazi regime (1933 – 1945). Holger Friese installs13 manipulated smoke detectors under the ceiling that are triggered by the movement of the visitors in the room. These disturbance tones make an unconvenient overlay to Zeena Parkins’ composition. The sonic short notices reflects behaviour of German bystanders during this night of destruction. The malicious arson carried out by SA/SS members was accompanied by clapping hands and a cheering crowd.

The almost empty main gallery room pushes the vistors into a dense and sometimes disturbing sound experience. Emptiness means here, the possibility of space and time for a reflection about the pogrom night.

In the small gallery room the needed technial equipment is visible.

14 record players in one row with endless spinning records – 13 at a speed of 33 rpm and one with 45 rpm.

Here we have come full circle with the representation of a roll call performed by second hand „soldiers“ bought on ebay.

microscope views vinyldisk

fieldrecordings

video

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