LAZNIA 2 Tania Cadiani – Language of Sound
Exhibition: 19th January-4th March 2018
Opening: 19th January 2018, 6 pm

Curator: Aleksandra Księżopolska
Assistant Curator: Lila Schally-Kacprzak

LAZNIA 2, Centre for Contemporary Art, Gdansk Nowy Port
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Resonant and melodious. Chaotic and orderly at the same time. Buzzing and sibilating. Hard and soft. The Polish language. Complex in its simplicity, plastic and flexible. In her exhibition “Language as Sound”, Mexican artist Tania Candiani looks at – or rather listens to – the sound and rhythm of the Polish language. Cut and broken consonants pronounced by each of the actresses in the video installation seem to strongly influence each other although each of them remains autonomous. When resonating with each other, they reveal the language score.

“Language as Sound” is Tania Candiani’s first solo exhibition in Poland. In her work the artist combines reflections on language, text and sound. She challenges traditional ways of perceiving reality. The minimalist video presented at CSW Łaźnia refers to the Polish context. Female performers, dressed in black, standing in a row, seem to participate in a ritual. A ritual based on rhythm, sound and silence. In a cool and austere space, they form a geometric configuration, jointly articulating harsh and jarring consonants. The movement of their vocal cords creates a monolithic structure, as if a sound sculpture. Frozen and unmoving, focused, hypnotised, they bring into existence a spectacle of abstract sounds devoid of a score.

The place of this urban-architectural intervention was not accidental. For Tania Candiani, the industrial space of the 19th century Royal Rifle Factory, located in the Gdańsk district of Dolne Miasto (Lower City), constitutes an integral element of the work, becoming an instrument itself. Its concrete walls, columns, floors and ceilings return echo. They resonate by means of natural reverberation. The space acoustics allows one to “hear” architecture, experience it sensorily.

The work refers to John Cage’s avant-garde and iconic work “4’33” composed of silences. In the famous piece constructed of rests, one can hear coughs, creaking chairs, grunts or rustling of clothes. It does not seem to have a beginning or an end. The Mexican artist’s work follows similar principles. The movement is natural, organic, without any assumed, regulating composition. The choir’s collective gestures create a structure, hypnotise the viewer for the duration of the piece.

Tania Candiani, along with Luis Felipe Ortega, represented Mexico at 56th Venice Biennial in 2015. The artist is a winner of numerous awards, including Guggenheim Fellowship Award (2011) or Award of Distinction Prix Ars Electronica (Austria, 2013). Her exhibition at Łaźnia is the outcome of her residencies in Poland in 2014.

The work was created in cooperation with the ensemble Laboratorium Pieśni (Song Laboratory).
Municipal Institution of Culture