The Monuments - Chapter 1


Chapter 1

Silent Whispers of Thunder


at Kühlhaus Berlin

Starting at 6:00 pm

Welcome to Chapter 1 Silent Whispers of Thunder, the beginning of The Monuments, a project that will unfold over the course of 17 chapters, through the remainder of 2021 and 2022, at Kühlhaus Berlin. Each chapter will consist of various narrative parallel, and sometimes contrasting, threads contemplating closeness, urgency, and self-realization through re-action and presence. Blurring the stage and treating performing elements as protagonists of the ongoing action, the public effortlessly becomes part of the work. One of the main focuses of the project is the idea of the divisions between the controlled, the structured, and the spontaneous. There is resonance in the silences, the voids that connect the elements of ephemeral situations–moments within the artwork. Obvious situations, like performance interventions, spatial interventions, and individual works of art, entwine with spread-out elements pushed into the space of the spectator’s movement and perception. The results will encapsulate moments of recollection of both “obvious” and “less obvious” facts that the audience will be able to explore as a whole only after the durational events, through chatting with the other participants and flipping through their own memories. The final work will coagulate into a collection of the moments embraced through each of the 17 chapters.

Through the various stages of worldwide lockdowns, we have observed the absence of public life. In contrast to the chilling emptiness of the streets, looking up, one could see a sea of illuminated windows, a river flowing with all possible pockets of life. For life, of course, is a “durational performance” of its own. The Monuments will reflect this in an art form. Each visitor entering the installation for a given event will become part of the artwork–this social engagement is a necessary component of completing it.

A live artwork can react directly to the socio-politics of the moment. The initial plan serves as a foundation upon which individual chapters will be built. Each chapter will carry palpable tension, urgency, and the constant uncertainty of immediate social-political re-action layered upon the initial plan. These two approaches provide the groundwork of the conceptual premise, the project’s main charge: the ephemeral and the constructed.

The process of embedding the ephemeral in materials that will outlive us is what makes a work of art create its own attitude. Experiencing an architectural monument or an artwork is naturally finite since we engage fully only for a short period of time. Material ownership does not define the exclusiveness of the experience of the artwork. What remains is a slot of memory of the work. Bits and pieces of this experience spread out through different layers and tissues in one’s memory. The premise of The Monuments is to structure itself through the simultaneous expansion and contraction of site-specific and performing interventions defining individual chapters over the course of a year.


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