Artist: Sława Harasymowicz
Curated by Dominik Czechowski
Narrative Projects, London
17 June – 30 July 2016
pv Fri, 17 June, 6-8pm
Radio On is the second ‘chapter’ in a three-part multi-disciplinary exhibition by artist Sława Harasymowicz. Begun at Centrala Gallery in Birmingham in 2015 with a final evocation at the Poetry Library in London later this year, the project fuses biography, newly commissioned writing and documentary records to explore one of the biggest WWII maritime disasters. The event – obscured in history and clouded in ambiguity – operates for Harasymowicz as a springboard to challenge political and cultural amnesia.
The centerpiece of the exhibition is a new sound installation in the form of a radio broadcast, dramatising real activity that took place in a German concentration camp towards the end of the war. As a way of exploring the impact of the event, and as a test for the potentiality of new narrations when they start circulating through her artworks, the artist has recorded a live performance in Sigmund Freud’s former study at the Freud Museum, North London. It presents an aural collage of performed testimonials, fiction, poetry, scientific research, experimental writing and sound distortions.
Additionally, the installation in the front room of the gallery evokes an echo chamber of sorts in which attenuation, absorption, scattering and signal degradation are executed in nonfigurative forms as almost theatrical props in a warped transmitting-receiving activity.
Both the timed, hourly broadcasts as well as the omnipresent sonic landscape form the pulse of this richly textured installation, which foregrounds the spatial and temporal nature of sound and utilises sound waves and its frequencies as a particular form of reenactment – an archive endlessly insisting on its present and relevance.
In partnership with Centrala Gallery, Birmingham and the Poetry Library, Southbank Centre. Supported using public funding by Arts Council England
Additional thanks to: International Tracing Service ITS-Arolsen; Neuengamme Concentration Camp Memorial; Pomorska Historical Museum Kraków.