Performing Arts past

LUNDAHL & SEITL: IN CONVERSATION WITH BARBARA LONDON

Sun—10-2-2022
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This October in partnership with the Consulate General of Sweden in New York, Scandinavia House is pleased to present performances and a discussion by the artist duo Lundahl & Seitl! In today’s program, the artists will perform their celebrated piece Symphony of a Missing Room over a series of 30-minute increments running between 11:30 AM and 1:30 PM and resuming from 4 to 5:30 PM; at 1:30 PM, the program will also include a discussion between the artists and noted curator Barbara London. Register here or at the link above for the discussion at 1:30 PM. Learn more and register for the performances here.

In today’s discussion at 1:30 PM, Lundahl & Seitl will join Barbara London in a conversation about their work, in which participants wear white goggles that induce a spatial white-out, partly rendering sensory interface to the world incomplete, and partly enabling a new relationship with the surroundings by blurring the distinction between sensing/reasoning, and body/mind. Throughout the near 20-minute walk, a guiding hand gradually earns our trust, while a whisper in the ear synchronizes our movement and breathing with the architectural sound in the headphones, closing the sensorial loop between our body and the imagined space through a reversed engineering of the vision.

Since its inception in 2009 at the Swedish National Museum in Stockholm, Lundahl & Seitl’s work has been hosted by twentyfold internationally renowned museums and Biennials; earlier commissions have included Martin-Gropius-Bau, Royal Academy of Arts, Momentum 8 – Tunnel Vision, Centre Pompidou Metz, MMK Frankfurt, S.M.A.K, Bern Biennale and Kochi Muziris Biennale; today’s performances and discussion at Scandinavia House will conclude a North American tour across Massachusetts, Washington D.C., and New York. The iteration of Symphony of a Missing Room at Scandinavia House emerged from the latest public showing of the work at Temple of Alternative Histories at Kassel Stadtteater, in conjunction with Documenta Fifteen. Building from an internal exercise on how to become a river, of shaping and being shaped by different topographies, the work echoes natural processes in a practice of extending one’s sensory experience into one’s surroundings and merging with it through the relationship.

Reservations to the artist talk and the performances must both be made in advance; register here or at the link above for the 1:30 PM talk. Learn more and register for the performances here. Guests are encouraged to schedule their visits to include both the performance and the artist discussion.

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About Lundahl & Seitl

Lundahl & Seitl, formed in 2003 as continuous research into the question of how we perceive reality and negotiate its various forms. The virtual experience in their works is created with peculiar objects such as sightless goggles or methods of choreographed touch through reverse engineering visual stimuli. Through a heuristic relationship to process, and created in collaboration between disciplines, the duo has developed an art form and method containing staging, choreographed movement, instructions, sculpture, spatial sound, and augmented and virtual reality.

Their works and projects have been exhibited in museums and institutions such as the Gropius-Bau / Berliner Festspiele, Hamburger Kunsthalle, Kunstmuseum Bonn (DE), Tate Britain (UK), Royal Academy of Art (UK), 66th Avignon Festival (FR), Centre Pompidou Metz (FR), 8th Momentum Biennale (NO), and the Kochi Muziris Biennale (IN)

The duo is the recipient of a number of awards including an STRP ACT Award, the Stockholm Art Prize, Birgit Cullberg Stipend, IASPIS Grant holder, Montblanc Young Directors Award, Edstrandska Stipend for Contemporary Art, and Sven Harrys Art Prize Stipend and shortlisted for the Lumen Prize.

Lundahl & Seitl are supported by Nordisk Kulturfond, The Swedish Arts Grants Committee and the International Program for Visual Artists (iaspis), Stockholm Stad and Kulturrådet Sweden / Swedish Arts Council. Our thanks also go to Streaming Museum and Hyphen Hub for their support in kind.

About the Performances

Since its inception in 2009 at the Swedish National Museum in Stockholm, Lundahl & Seitl’s work has been hosted by twentyfold internationally renowned museums and Biennials; earlier commissions have included Martin-Gropius-Bau, Royal Academy of Arts, Momentum 8 – Tunnel Vision, Centre Pompidou Metz, MMK Frankfurt, S.M.A.K, Bern Biennale and Kochi Muziris Biennale; today’s performances and discussion at Scandinavia House will conclude a North American tour across Massachusetts, Washington D.C., and New York. In the performances, participants wear white goggles that induce a spatial white-out, partly rendering sensory interface to the world incomplete, and partly enabling a new relationship with the surroundings by blurring the distinction between sensing/reasoning, and body/mind. A guiding hand gradually earns our trust, while a whisper in the ear synchronizes our movement and breathing with the architectural sound in the headphones, closing the sensorial loop between our body and the imagined space through a reversed engineering of the vision.

The iteration of Symphony of a Missing Room at Scandinavia House emerged from the latest public showing of the work at Temple of Alternative Histories at Kassel Stadtteater, in conjunction with Documenta Fifteen.

Building from an internal exercise on how to become a river, of shaping and being shaped by different topographies, the work echoes natural processes in a practice of extending one’s sensory experience into one’s surroundings and merging with it through the relationship.

In Symphony of a Missing Room, the value of agency and guidance is constantly negotiated in a dance of listening, adapting, and responding, not only to the immediate movement of your unseen guide but also to the objects and events from the past that have been integrated into the works’ choreographic score. As triggers for future experiences, these objects and events are now surfacing and played out horizontally in the present relationship and friction between visual and auditory organs and the nerves of the skin between the two bodies temporarily becoming the artwork. A multitude of ideas, experiences, thoughts, and reflections echoes inside the Symphony as an endless conversation between presences and absences.

About Barbara London

Barbara London is a New York-based curator and writer who founded the video-media exhibition and collection programs at The Museum of Modern Art, where she worked between 1973 and 2013. Her current projects include the book Video/Art: The First Fifty Years (Phaidon: 2020), the podcast series “Barbara London Calling,” and the exhibition Seeing Sound (Independent Curators International, 2020-24).

London organized one-person shows with such media mavericks as Laurie Anderson, Peter Campus, Teiji Furuhashi, Gary Hill, Joan Jonas, Shigeko Kubota, Nam June Paik, Song Dong, Steina Vasulka, Bill Viola, and Zhang Peili. Her thematic exhibitions at MoMA included Soundings: A Contemporary Score (2013); Looking at Music (2009); Video Spaces (1995); Music Video: the Industry and Its Fringes (1985); and Video from Tokyo to Fukui and Kyoto (1979). She was the first to integrate the Internet as part of curatorial practice, with Stir-fry (1994); Internyet (1998); and dot.jp (1999).

London’s writing has appeared in numerous catalogs and publications, including Artforum, Yishu, Leonardo, Art Asia Pacific, Art in America, and Modern Painter.

London teaches in the Sound Art Department, Columbia University, and previously taught in the Graduate Art Department, Yale, 2014-19. Her honors include: Getty Research Institute scholar, 2016; the Courage Award, Eyebeam, 2016; Gertrude Contemporary Residency, Melbourne, 2012; Dora Maar House Residency, Menerbes, 2010; a CEC Artslink award in Poland, 2003; a Japanese government Bunkacho Fellowship, 1992-93; and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, 1988-89.

 
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