press release

Opening Reception: Saturday 12 January 2008, 21.00 hrs

In their collaborative practice Achim Lengerer & Dani Gal deal with audio-acoustics and storage media used for acoustic material. Their core interests are audio-recordings, particularly of language, spoken word and speech, original footage taken from radio-broadcastings or other archives. Their work found its multiple form in the project 'voiceoverhead' which is rooted in a record collection of approximately 350 records, including footage documenting political speeches and language orientated radio-programs. The records aurally cover historical events and were originally designed to function as “documentations of the real”. This notion of the 'documentary' has been questioned throughout the history of the medium itself and developed as one of the inherent debates around the emerging modes of reproduction in the late 19th century - the phonograph, film and photography. Starting with the early Lumière-movie 'Workers Leaving the Factory,' this discussion emerges. Harun Farocki has shown, in his 1995 video-essay on the Lumière-sequence, the complexity of a playful representational conspiracy between the audience/viewer, the document/documentarian and the documented beginning at the birth of the genre itself. This act of conspiracy takes place when any document from the archive is brought back to the public sphere as a kind of reenactment of a communicative and rhetorical figure.

Lengerer & Gal developed the idea ‘voiceoverhead’ in order to locate the record collection and their artistic practice within a broader context and to include the work of other artists, filmmakers and musicians working with archived language materials in multiple ways and diverging modes. So too do divisions exist in the cultural field: such as electronic music that is entrenched in elements of language and radio-sounds and there is a sub-genre of visual artists, filmmakers and documentarians who also focus their work in this area. Both fields are conceptually and practically applying different approaches to the given speech material: differences in working and presentation methods, as well as differences in distribution and public reception. 'voiceoverhead' presents, confronts and merges the approaches applied in these diverse cultural productions in the exhibition and in an evening of sound performances, taking place on Friday 29 February.

only in german

A project by Achim Lengerer & Dani Gal

mit Casper Cordes, Harun Farocki, William Furlong, Sharon Hayes