Teatergaten 37, 5010 Bergen
The 2016 edition of Bergen Assembly offers three distinct propositions by artistic directors Tarek Atoui, freethought and PRAXES. Following a year of exhibitions, live events and publications, these three strands of activity will converge for the first time from September 2 to October 1, 2016.
Since his early visits to Bergen, musician and sound artist Tarek Atoui was sensitive to the diversity of Bergen’s musical scenes and their synergies with its visual arts scenes. His work at Bergen Assembly is therefore of a collaborative nature. It is based on WITHIN, a project which was first developed during a long-term residency at the Sharjah Art Foundation in the United Arab Emirates in 2008. WITHIN was the outcome of conversations with teachers and students from the Al Amal School for Deaf Students in Sharjah City and a collaboration with Paris-based curators Grégory Castéra and Sandra Terdjman (Council).
To what extent do we hear? How can expanded notions of listening beyond the aural improve how we hear? In Bergen, Atoui and Council continue their exploration into hearing diversities and how deafness can influence and expand the way we understand sound performance, its space and instrumentation.
This research culminates in the presentation of two projects at Sentralbadet, an abandoned swimming pool located in central Bergen: an exhibition entitled Infinite Ear by Council and a new chapter of WITHIN by Tarek Atoui. Contributors to both projects include: Carl Michael von Hausswolff, Eric Lacasa, Chris Chafe, Greg Niemeyer, Jacob Kirkegaard, and Thomas Lilly.
Conceived as a social space, Infinite Ear will present a series of sonic therapies, a programme of book readings with simultaneous sign language translation, and an installation in the form of a cabinet of natural, cultural, technical and artistic objects. Sentralbadet’s former restaurant will be turned into a café, offering listening sessions of rarely heard and unexpected sounds. Its former pools will host an ensemble of eight new musical instruments. These instruments are being developed and fabricated by local artists and students in Bergen, as well as at a number of other institutions, including: Perrin Meyer (Meyer Sound), Greg Niemeyer (Berkeley Center for New Media), Jeff Lubow (CNMAT), Mitchell Karchemsky, Mats Lindström and Daniel Arraya/EMS (Electronic Music Studio Stockholm), Kari Sundet, Espen Sommer Eide, Thierry Madiot, Johannes Goebel, and Julia Al Sarraf. Collaborating institutions include: BIT20, Ekko Festival, NY Musik, BEK, Nordahl Grieg High School, Grieg Academy (UiB), and Bergen School of Architecture (BAS).
At regular public rehearsals and concerts, invited composers and performers will activate WITHIN‘s instruments and disseminate them in the exhibition’s space. These include: Pauline Oliveros, Thierry Madiot, Gerhard Staebler, Myriam Lefkowitz & Valentina Desideri, Alwynne Pitchard, Trond Lossius, Espen Sommer Eide, Kari Sundet, Mats Lindström, BIT20, and DJ Jade. This will create unique performative situations inspired by practices such as Deep Listening and Sound Massage, informed by WITHIN‘s experiences gathered over the past five years.
Addressing deaf and hearing audiences, Bergen Assembly’s Sentralbadet will be a place for experimentation that challenges our understanding of hearing and our perception of sound.
WITHIN is co-produced by the Berkeley Art Museum, the Experimental Music and Perfoming Arts Center (EMPAC), ZKM, Meyer Sound, Kvadrat, and Galerie Chantal Crousel.