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English

Hannah Rickards

‘… a legend, it, it sounds like a legend …’, 2007

Selected by Pablo Lafuente

The northern lights sound ‘like a legend’. These are the words of one of the contributors to an exhibition project that Hannah Rickards originally developed for The Showroom in the late spring of 2007. It started with a research trip to Alaska, during which Rickards interviewed around forty people who claimed to have heard the sound that is made by or accompanies auroras. Selected sections from the sound recordings of the interviews were then edited into three soundtracks, played from three corners of the gallery. In each corner there was also a television monitor, on which shorter fragments of the testimonies were presented as script, in a white sans-serif font on a bright monochrome background (blue, red and green). In the darkened space, the bright colours of the screens reflected on the walls, filling up the otherwise empty gallery. As the soundtrack alternated from one monitor’s speakers to another’s, the words on each screen changed, sometimes in synch, sometimes out of synch with the sound.

With its sparse aesthetics and its use of spoken word and written texts, the piece bears remarkable resemblance to ‘70s Conceptual practice. The strategy is one of reduction – from the aurora lights to the empty space barely illuminated by the green, blue and red screens, from footage of interviews to sound and text fragments. But unlike most Conceptual practice, here the material reduction amplifies language, so that, rather than disembodied and inert as in the analytic conception, it is both attached and unattached, characterised merely by its productive power.

‘The sound I think it makes is, is that whispering sound, it almost sounds, um, uh, what’s the word I’m thinking? Um, like historic, not historic, but, um, oh: a legend, it, it sounds like a legend, you know, when you think of a legend or something way back in the past you get that, that, it sounds like that to me, like this legend or somebody’s, this whispering sound: it’s a legend.’ will be on show at Artspeak, Vancouver, from 10 September to 30 October 2010.

Hannah Rickards
Born 1979, UK
Lives and works in London

IMAGE CREDITS

Hannah Rickards, The sound I think it makes is, is that whispering sound, it almost sounds, um, uh, what’s the word I’m thinking? Um, like historic, not historic, but, um, oh: a legend, it, it sounds like a legend, you know, when you think of a legend or something way back in the past you get that, that, it sounds like that to me, like this legend or somebody’s, this whispering sound: it’s a legend., 2007
Installation view, The Showroom
Courtesy the artist

Hannah Richards, The sound I think it makes is, is that whispering sound, it almost sounds, um, uh, what’s the word I’m thinking? Um, like historic, not historic, but, um, oh: a legend, it, it sounds like a legend, you know, when you think of a legend or something way back in the past you get that, that, it sounds like that to me, like this legend or somebody’s, this whispering sound: it’s a legend., 2007
Still
Courtesy the artist

Hannah Rickards, Thunder, 2005
Courtesy the artist

Hannah Rickards, Birdsong, 2002
Courtesy the artist

Hannah Rickards, To enable me to fix my attention on any one of these symbols I was to imagine that I was looking at the colours as I might see them on a moving picture screen, 2008
Courtesy the artist

Hannah Rickards, No, there was no red, 2009
Courtesy the artist

Hannah Rickards, No, there was no red, 2009
Courtesy the artist

Français

Hannah Rickards

‘… a legend, it, it sounds like a legend …’, 2007

Sélectionné par Pablo Lafuente

"Une légende, les aurores boréales m'évoquent une légende", raconte un participant au projet d'Hannah Rickards dans son exposition à The Showroom (Printemps 2007). Rickards est allée en Alaska pour interviewer une quarantaine de personnes qui prétendent avoir vu et entendu des aurores boréales. L'artiste a enregistré ces entretiens et sélectionné des extraits pour en faire trois bandes sonores retransmises aux trois coins de la salle d'exposition. Les moniteurs diffusent simultanément une retranscription de ces témoignages avec une police blanche sans-serif sur fond monochrome bleu, rouge et vert. Dans l'obscurité de la galerie, les couleurs vives qui émanent des écrans se reflètent sur les murs et remplissent l'espace. La bande sonore alterne d'un moniteur à l'autre tandis que le texte à l'écran change, parfois synchronisé, parfois en décalage avec le son.

L'esthétique épurée de l'œuvre et l'utilisation du texte (parlé et écrit) font inévitablement penser aux stratégies conceptuelles des années 1970. Avec un minimum d'effets, Rickards choisit de représenter l'aurore boréale avec de simples reflets verts, bleus et rouges qui illuminent la pièce ou encore de transformer de longs entretiens en fragments de sons et de textes. Contrairement à l'art conceptuel, cette esthétique épurée vient amplifier les effets du langage et résiste ainsi à l'inertie désincarné du concept par son seul pouvoir de suggestion.

"Les aurores boréales sont comme des chuchotements, ça ressemble à... quel est ce mot auquel je pense? Euh... quelque chose d'historique, non pas historique, ah oui, une légende, on a l'impression d'entendre une légende, tu sais, comme quand tu penses à une légende ou à quelque chose d'ancien, pour moi, c'est comme si on entendait une légende, ce bruit qu'on entend : c'est une légende." d'Hannah Rickards sera exposé à Artspeak, Vancouver, du 10 septembre au 30 octobre 2010.

Hannah Rickards
Née en 1979, Royaume-Uni
Vit et travaille à Londres

IMAGE CREDITS

Hannah Rickards, The sound I think it makes is, is that whispering sound, it almost sounds, um, uh, what’s the word I’m thinking? Um, like historic, not historic, but, um, oh: a legend, it, it sounds like a legend, you know, when you think of a legend or something way back in the past you get that, that, it sounds like that to me, like this legend or somebody’s, this whispering sound: it’s a legend., 2007
Installation view, The Showroom
Courtesy the artist

Hannah Richards, The sound I think it makes is, is that whispering sound, it almost sounds, um, uh, what’s the word I’m thinking? Um, like historic, not historic, but, um, oh: a legend, it, it sounds like a legend, you know, when you think of a legend or something way back in the past you get that, that, it sounds like that to me, like this legend or somebody’s, this whispering sound: it’s a legend., 2007
Still
Courtesy the artist

Hannah Rickards, Thunder, 2005
Courtesy the artist

Hannah Rickards, Birdsong, 2002
Courtesy the artist

Hannah Rickards, To enable me to fix my attention on any one of these symbols I was to imagine that I was looking at the colours as I might see them on a moving picture screen, 2008
Courtesy the artist

Hannah Rickards, No, there was no red, 2009
Courtesy the artist

Hannah Rickards, No, there was no red, 2009
Courtesy the artist

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