Swedish artist duo offers ‘blindfolded tour’ of Kochi-Muziris Biennale

The daily performance provides innovative three-dimensional view of art and its perception 


Kochi, December 20: Visitors to the ongoing Kochi-Muziris Biennale (KMB) 2016 are being offered a unique opportunity to participate in a performance – presented as a blindfolded guided tour – created by Swedish artist duo Christer Lundahl and Martina Seitl.

Scheduled to run multiple times daily at Aspinwall House till the end of the nearly four-month long Biennale, the ‘Symphony of a Missing Room – The Mnemosyne Revolution’ sees visitors don headphones that play pre-recorded instructions and ambient noise from the Biennale while the trained theatre actors masquerading as guides provide additional effects.

After the participants put on a pair of white-out goggles, the ‘blindfold tour’ – as it has come to be known colloquially – begins. Of the experience, Seitl said, “Visitors have their own space to imagine and re-imagine as they hear sounds of many things.” The overall effect is intended to be perceived three-dimensionally.

‘Binaural’ sounds stream into the ears of the blindfolded participants while the locally hired theatre professionals guide them along on an exciting voyage through a forest, a cave, inside a tunnel, out into space and finally into the ‘The Sea of Pain,’ an ankle-deep water installation by Chilean poet-revolutionary Raúl Zurita.

Through the documented tour, the artists offer a way to move away from responding to art via capture and consumption. Instead, they allow the audience to exist among the exhibited works.

“It was an amazing experience and I found it among the best works showcased here. Not to be missed,” said Anish, who took the 30-minute ‘tour’.

 

In 2003, Lundahl, a fine arts professional, and Seitl, a choreographer, came up with this trans-disciplinary artistic collaboration that focuses on making the viewer’s perception the central medium of the work. That is, breaking down perceived barriers between ‘doing and viewing’,

‘Symphony’ was first unveiled in Stockholm in 2009 and has since been commissioned by and performed in a series of museums, galleries and venues across the world.

“Time and evolution are the key experiences of this serial practice. Strongly rooted in research, each project is specific to a particular place and situation while also investigating the symbiotic evolution of human consciousness with culture and technologies,” Seitl said.

Lundahl & Seitl’s practice blends neuroscience, contemporary art and immersive theatre. The duo creates large scale installations, curatorial projects, workshops often in collaboration with writers, architects, dancers, choreographers and actors, musicians and scientists.

Among their newest innovations is ‘The Unknown Cloud’, which is a reflection of projects the duo has developed over smart phones to connect with the public across the world – in an interplay between physical and virtual spaces, traditional and social media.?

 

 ENDS

 

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