As if I became upside down, right side up

April 18 — July 26, 2015

Hannah Weinberger has transformed six boulders from Switzerland into resonating sound boxes. The boulders are transformed into instruments through magnets inside their hollowed out centres that are activated by sound. The composition played by the boulders is based on recordings of Weinberger’s personal surroundings – such as glasses clanking or animal sounds – mixed with pre-made digital jingles – like sounds from cartoons or nature, short melodies, or instruments being played. Some of Weinberger’s acoustic configurations are also based on sounds taken from music programs, such as those used in movies. In these programs, the recognisability and familiarity of the sounds is more important than achieving an elaborate result.

Weinberger has created a unique sound sequence for each boulder. Altogether, the boulders play a 60-minute composition that is reminiscent of ambient music in 4/4 time. This musical standard is familiar to us from commercials, waiting rooms, transit lounges, event halls and wellness spas. While they may seem artificial and impersonal, the sounds can be heard everywhere and are familiar to us. On the one hand, personal acoustic memories are made commonplace; while on the other, pre-set digital sounds on phones and computers have become such an integral part of our mindset that they acquire a personal note.

Hannah Weinberger works primarily with performance, video, installation, and especially sound, often stepping outside of classical exhibition formats. Frequently, she collaborates with artist friends, activates participants in performance workshops and integrates exhibition visitors. Web-based, open source programs provide the technical basis for her sound and video installations, which often revolve around already-made material available in digital form.

Weinberger (a Swiss-American artist born in 1988) studied at the Schule für Gestaltung in Basel und Hochschule der Künste in Zurich, where she earned her Master of Fine Arts. Her first international solo shows have been hosted in venues such as in Kunsthalle Basel (2012), KUB Arena in Bregenz (2014), and MIT in Boston (2015). She has also participated in group shows such as the 12th Biennale in Lyon (2013). She is the co-director of the Elaine project space in the Museum für Gegenwartskunst in Basel and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Kunsthalle Basel. The Kunstverein Harburger Bahnhof is hosting her first solo exhibition in a German art institution.

On the occasion of the exhibition, an audio recording will be released on vinyl that documents the sound of each boulder and its interaction with the surrounding space. Noises in the Kunstverein Harburger Bahnhof can also be heard on the recording. This is the third artist’s record the Kv.H.Bf. has created in collaboration with Volker Zander’s label Apparent Extent. The release date of the LP will be announced soon.