Łaźnia Centre for Contemporary Art, Gdańsk: S.T.R.H. (Stones That Rest Heavily)

Konrad Smoleński
S.T.R.H. (Stones That Rest Heavily)

21.06.2013 – 18.08.2013


Konrad Smoleński "S.T.R.H. (Stones That Rest Heavily)", 2013, photo: Łaźnia Centre for Contemporary Art

A solo exhibition from Konrad Smoleński is opening at The Łaźnia Centre for Contemporary Art (CCA), in Gdańsk. Smoleński represents Poland at the 55th Venice Biennale, until the 11th of November 2013. In the Polish Pavilion, Smoleński created the sound installation Everything Was Forever, Until It Was No More, which consisted of two bells along with speakers and resonant metal cabinets that processed the sound.

In Gdańsk, the artist will show in the largest exhibition hall at the CCA, introducing static into three-dimensional objects, generating sound at low frequencies. Objects resembling huge boulders develop the sound at nearly inaudible acoustic levels throughout the space, both in the walls of the building and in the body of the viewer. CCA curator Kamila Wielebska promises: “Contact with the work of art becomes a total sensory experience, involving not only the eyes and ears, but the whole body. It is a physical experience.”

The title of Smoleński’s exhibition, STRH (Stones That Rest Heavily), was taken from the album Stones (2012) by Colin Stetson and Mats Gustafssons, who share a penchant for powerful low-frequency timbres and massive blocks of saxophone sound.  Smoleński generates soundwaves and the resulting energies in order to stimulate the space and hear its sound. The soundwaves remind us of forces of nature, like earthquakes.

The text accompanying the exhibition says:

    'Poland lies in an aseismic area […] Smoleński generates sound vibrations that produce sensations characteristic of this natural phenomenon and thus brings them into a context which lacks similar experiences. Moreover, he brings them into a space reserved for the presentation of art. Of course, earthquakes can be felt in enclosed spaces. Here, however, the reference to the processes taking place in the shell of the earth can evoke echoes of the land-art projects of other artists.'

Music and acoustic experimentation play a key role in the works of Konrad Smoleński. The artist uses sound, both in the realization of his artistic works, and as a member of musical groups. In his most recent group, BNNT, co-founded with drummer Daniel Swede, Smoleński plays a handmade “baritone missile.”

A "soundbombing," or terrorist attack of sound, from BNNT will accompany the closing the exhibition at the CCA. Over two days, half-naked masked men will traverses the city by car, broadcasting loud sounds as a concert for an unwitting audience. The action will be carried out in the Outdoor Gallery of the City of Gdańsk. 

Konrad Smoleński
S.T.R.H. (Stones That Rest Heavily)
Łaźnia Centre for Contemporary Art, Gdańsk – Dolne Miasto
21.06 – 18.08.2013
Closing, with a meeting with the artist: 19.08, 18:00
BNNT Soundbombing: 20-21.08, start: Dolne Miasto
Curator: Kamila Wielebska

Source: Centrum Sztuki Współczesnej Łaźnia, www.popmusic.pl, private materials

Author: Agnieszka Sural, 14.06.2013

Translated by Alena Aniskiewicz

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