June 1–September 4, 2022
“Through music and sound I am able to describe extremely complex contexts, contents, systems and emotions that reach viewers directly. For me, music plays an important role as a form of communication, as an element of translation.” —Annika Kahrs
Annika Kahrs’s latest project, how to live in the echo of other places, is a sound and video installation that was presented in the final remaining warehouse structure in the former Hamburg Free Port, now known as HafenCity. The largest exhibition project IMAGINE THE CITY has ever undertaken is devoted to the uniqueness of audio and visual memories and investigates how they relate to specific locations. The two-part piece uses the internal space and the façade of Schuppen 29 (Shed 29) alternately during the summer to make other people’s fleeting—and personal—experiences palpably accessible to viewers.
These two overlapping elements capture the unique ambiance of the place. Individual audio itineraries inside the shed can be retraced by listeners at any time during the day. A 14-meter-wide video projection is then turned on on the building’s front elevation at dusk, making the location visible from a distance all night long till morning. Personal narratives from various eras and locations will be weaved together over the course of thirteen weeks as they engage with the surroundings of this former cocoa factory.
Ten Hamburg musicians collaborated with Annika Kahrs to create their own works for this spatial project. To do this, each artist had a lengthy conversation about the locations associated with their own recollections with someone to whom they had a special connection. Based on this, Kahrs produced short compositions, which Louis d’Heudières helped him adapt into a spatial arrangement. Eleven loudspeaker boxes positioned throughout the venue combine, among other things, the sounds of earthquakes, migratory experiences, and Hamburg’s metropolitan area between the harbor and St. Michael’s Church during the 80-minute “concert within the space.” As varied as the musical genres and composing techniques are the themes.With Ferdinand Försch, Douniah, Louis d`Heudières, TINTIN PATRONE, Tam Thi Pham, Jesseline Preach, Carlo Andrés Rico, Freja Sandkamm, Nika Son and Derya Yıldırım.
The short texts about recollections of a specific location at sunset that musicians, friends, and coworkers contributed to Kahrs for this project served as the foundation for the video projection. The artist examines the issue of whether and to what extent strong visual impressions can be connected to certain locations in our recollections. Although sunsets are, in theory, always the same, Western societies have long seen them as extraordinary occasions that stand out from long-forgotten daily experiences. This perception dates back to the Romantic era. In fact, they represent the finite-infinite duality of time: with each sunset, a new day in a person’s life is marked off the calendar, while at the same time, the sun will continue to rise and set each day for nearly all of eternity everywhere on Earth.
Word per word, the anonymized text is projected over a fictitious sunset made digitally. The events, some of which are noteworthy and others which are all too commonplace, are gradually put together in the imaginations of the spectators over the length of the loop, which lasts for around two and a half hours.
The project is organized within the 8th Triennial of Photography Hamburg 2022.
See also: The invisible Hand, IMAGINE THE CITY’s free digital channel activating the Triennial parcours until July 15 2022 on Telegram.
Imagine the City | Kunst und Kultur in der Hafencity e. V., Hamburg c/o Schuppen 29, Baakenhöft Hamburg-HafenCity
Sound installation: Thursday and Friday, 5–8pm / Saturday and Sunday 2–8pm
Video installation: Thursday–Sunday, from sunset to sunrise
More information about IMAGINE THE CITY.