Symphony of a Missing Room
17-26 August 2011
Museum der Moderne, Salzburg
Salzburger Festspiele commission
Museum der Moderne, window, November 2010
For the past two years, since its inception at the National Museum in Stockholm, Sweden (Weld commission) Lundahl & Seitl have been working on Symphony of a Missing Room, a project commissioned for a series of museums in the UK, Scandinavia and around Europe.
Growing along a chain of situations and places, it is an artwork in a constant state of becoming. Exhibited inside museums as well as being a temporal museum about itself, it reflects back on its own chain of discoveries. Symphony is a composite artwork and with the commission from Salzburger Festspiele, a legendary theatre/music festival, as well as the curatorial space of the current exhibition at Museum der Moderne: Role Models and Role Playing - the work naturally enters the parallel history of theatre.
Symphony of a Missing Room appropriates the form of the guided museum tour, but here the visitors depart on both a collective and an extremely personal journey.
Via wireless headphones, a voice takes visitors, led by performers, on an itinerary that traverses layers of physical and imaginary architecture of the museum and its curatorial space. By the use of multi-sensory illusions and binaural sound recordings the visitor's attention is steered away from the visible and tangible world and diverted into a new perception of the self, time and space.
In Salzburg, the placement of Museum der Moderne (on a mountain), its perspective - the position of the watchman overlooking the city - is used as an image to explore the idea of the museum as an observer and keeper of history. But history is proposed here as a kind of "backwards prophesying": as one must call into the imagination an event that someone tells you will happen, one must similarly imagine an event you are told once did happen. The art museum thus becomes a repository of disjunct visuals that project, prophesy and document both the past and the future.
Read a text by Gemma Sharpe, commissioned for the show at Museum der Moderne...
Visit the Salzburger Festspiele website...
For this showing of Symphony of a Missing Room, the theatrical context is incorporated into the work. Download an excerpt of the script to find out how...
Symphony of a Missing Room – Gothenburg Museum of Art, 2010
The context for Symphony of a Missing Room at Museum der Moderne
Current exhibition: Role Models - Role Playing
Roles, actors, stages, scripts ... a glance at the imagery of these terms reveals society as a theatre. We are all actors playing different cultural, social and biological roles. According to Erving Goffman (“The Presentation of Self in Everday Life“), life is a theatre in which we all perform different roles in order to fulfil social norms and expectations and present our own “self”. While society depends on a smooth coordination of actors and roles and “spoilsports”are marginalized, subjected to therapy, locked up or locked out, art deals with problematic areas of friction and breaking points between roles and actors. It reflects our desire to look behind the mask, where we seem to expect “authentic” persons. This is the first exhibition –featuring photographs, graphics, videos and installations - that gives a comprehensive survey of the phenomenon of role playing as a theme of art, from paraphrased Tableaux vivants of the 19th century to role-playing games in internetbased social networks. In order to do justice to the historicity and heterogeneity of role-playing, the exhibition subdivides this phenomenon into thematic fields.
Rotating in a Room of Images is part of the Edinburgh Showcase 2011, 22-27 August 2011. Produced and developed by BAC and presented in association with Fierce Festival.
Lundahl & Seitl is undergoing a period of organisational development supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.