Verstärkung (Amplication) by Armin Lorenz Gerold is part of a newly conceived performance series titled Give Rise To initiated by curator Cathrin Mayer for HALLE FÜR KUNST Steiermark (Graz).
How can sound be made visible? This question is repeatedly asked in the practice of the artist Armin Lorenz Gerold (born 1981 Graz, lives in Berlin). For Verstärkung (Amplification) (2021), a new work commissioned by HALLE FÜR KUNST Steiermark, Gerold created an audiovisual system of sculptures and flat monitors that is spread across the entire floor of the main gallery. Like the artist’s previous work, Verstärkung (Amplification) (2021) is located between installation and performance. Gerold’s multi-disciplinary practice, which can be defined as an investigation of photography and sound, transforms classical exhibition contexts and galleries into acoustic landscapes. Gerold, whose formats also always establish points of reference to radio and streaming, allows himself, his collaborators, and his audience to immerse themselves into a meditative flow of language and sounds.
After a year of physical isolation and global political unrest, Verstärkung (Amplification) (2021) addresses the ways in which communication is changing within ever more complex digital systems. The title of the work thereby indicates one of the starting points of Gerold’s proposition to use elements from sound and music production as the symbolic equivalents of socio-political phenomena. Verstärkung (Amplification) (2021) thus refers on the one hand to the electronic process of amplifying a signal, and on the other the word amplification stands from the artist’s perspective for the phenomenon of solidarity advocated by different (political) communities and their public proclamations. In the specific context of this work, amplification means telling and sharing experiences of encouragement and support. Originally conceived as an installation for HALLE FÜR KUNST Steiermark, Verstärkung (Amplification) now exists as a ca. 75 min piece of spoken word based on text contributions by musicians, artists and writers Alice Cannava, Alejandro Alonso Díaz, Jennifer Hope Davy, Enver Hadzijaj, Cornelia Herfurtner, Sinaida Michalskaja, Miriam Stoney and Bruno Zhu. With the inclusion of these collaborators, Gerold “amplifies” various voices that speak from and on behalf of different political and social contexts. In addition to these recordings the sound piece includes soundscapes, of marching and demonstrating bodies among others. In Verstärkung (Amplification) (2021) all of these parallel levels of meaning come together in sound, language, and images within the sensitive and poetic practice of the artist. This work thereby becomes a sounding board that offers not just a depiction, but a real and tangible experience of the local and global political and economic mechanisms that influence our bodies and minds and the ways in which we communicate.
Armin Lorenz Gerold (*1981 in Graz, lives in Berlin) is an artist and composer. His work has been presented at KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin, at LambdaLambdaLambda, Prishtina; at fluent, Santander; mint, Stockholm; and the Gothenburg Biennial of Contemporary Art (in collaboration with Doireann O’ Malley). In spring 2021, a new radio play installation will be accompanied by an artist’s book published as part of the Ruisdael Fellowship the artist received. Gerold releases pop music under his virtual alter ego wirefoxterrier, which is featured on the soundtrack of the LGBT teen drama SKAM Italia. The debut EP Radio Pristina was released in 2020.
Miriam Stoney (*1994 Scunthorpe, lives in London and Vienna) studied at the University of Oxford and the Bartlett School of Architecture London and is now enrolled at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. Her work has been featured at Kevin Space, Vienna; Institute of Contemporary Arts, London; BBC Introducing Arts; Somerset House Studios, London; Centre Pompidou x West Bund Museum Shanghai, Shanghai; KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin; and Haus, Vienna.
Enver Hadzijaj (*1980 in Langen, lives in Berlin) is an artist, teacher and art director currently based in Berlin. He among others runs the art space Beach Office, Berlin and the items label Lonelydays Qed. He recently has shown his own work at FRAGILE, Berlin. He taught at Bauhaus University Weimar, the University of the Arts Bremen and at the Zurich University of the Arts.
Alice Cannava (*1980 Tortona, lives in Berlin) edits and designs Occulto, an uncompromising yet gentle crossbreed of an avant-garde magazine and a science school book, featuring long essays, fiction, artist’s projects, and experimental music compilations. A series of concerts and cultural events in various Berlin venues is connected to and informed by the magazine. Alice’s further occupations include studying the history of science and technology at the Technical University of Berlin, designing and developing websites, and occasionally DJing under the moniker of Nana Bianca.
Bruno Zhu (*1991 Porto, lives in Amsterdam and Viseu) explores his fascination for photography’s ambivalent symbol as surface and object, representation and appropriation.Recent projects include presentations at Fri Art Kunsthalle in Fribourg, UKS in Oslo, ICA Cinema 3 in London, Frans Hals Museum in Haarlem, Antenna Space in Shanghai and Kunsthalle Lissabon in Lisbon. Zhu is a member of A Maior, a curatorial program set in a home furnishings and clothing store in Viseu, Portugal.
Alejandro Alonso Díaz (*1990 Santander, lives in Barcelona) is a curator and researcher who explores the metabolic encounters between natural, social and poetic structures of knowledge, investigating structural ecologies and their impact on society. He has curated several exhibitions and is currently involved with the ecological research platform Matter in Flux. Since 2016, Díaz has been the director of fluent, a para–institution in Santander, Spain; dedicated to imagining new socio-natural ontologies through contemporary art. His writings on art has been published in numerous exhibition catalogues and magazines such as Frieze, Mousse Magazine and Terremoto.
Jennifer Hope Davy is an artist and writer whose practice centers on the politics and potentiality of perception and interruption, mediating between cognition and visibility. Working across disciplines, her work largely operates in the form of a gesture, an act, or a proposition appearing as exhibition, performance, fiction and art writing. Based in Berlin, she also freelances primarily as an editor and sometimes curator and guest professor.
Cornelia Herfurtner is an artist working both under her own name and in various collective contexts. Her recent work has included a series of relief shields (What is a weapon?, Very Project Space, 2021), a series of photographs titled ‘freedom and control of others (including myself)’ (published in starship #19, 2020), and the video essay ‘Women* leaving the museum’ (in collaboration with David Polzin, 2019). She is organized in the Interventionist Left and works in the alliance Rheinmetall Disarm against arms production and arms exports of Germany’s largest arms producer Rheinmetall.
Cathrin Mayer (*1988, in Vienna lives in Graz and Berlin). She currently is the curator at HALLE FÜR KUNST Steiermark (Graz, AT), where she curates exhibitions and performances. Until May 2020 she worked as a curator at KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin, where she was responsible for exhibitions and performances. She has curated exhibitions by Anna Daučíková, Kris Lemsalu, Evelyn Taocheng Wang.Previously, she worked for the 9th Berlin Biennial, hosted by the New York-based collective Dis. Most recently, she curated a major solo exhibition of Estonian artist Flo Kasearu at Tallinn Arthall and the first solo exhibition of Kosovar artist Dardan Zhegrova at FRAGILE, Berlin. In addition to her curatorial work, she teaches regularly, most recently at the University of the Arts in Berlin, among others. She is the editor of the book “Wish A Dream and Dream A Wish”, published by Sternberg Press in March 2021.
The HALLE FÜR KUNST Steiermark is one of the most innovative exhibition houses for contemporary art in Austria and the surrounding region. The outstanding modernist pavilion architecture from the early 1950s was built as one of the first white cubes in Austria. Over the years, outstanding artistic positions such as Cosey Fanny Tutti, Ulrike Oettinger, Rosemarie Trockel, Tom Burr, Adrian Piper, Julia Scher, Josef Bauer and Bruno Gironcoli were shown in thematic group exhibitions. Today, as before, the exhibition house is dedicated to the presentation of contemporary, socially relevant art production in an international context, whereby the carefully presented art here should also consciously stand and speak for itself.
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