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Beauty #3: "Bukarest | Bucureşti – fragmente"

img  Tobias

 

 

 

 

 

 

Capable of conveying moods much more clearly than visuals ever could, sound may be a better documentarian than most people are inclined to believe. And yet, it is, by default, only part of the story. We are, after all, still beings who take in their surroundings through many different senses. Greta Hoheisel & Norbert Lang have taken this into account for "Bukarest | Bucureşti – fragmente". Originally a „peep-box-exhibit“, visitors would gaze into four wooden boxes containing pictures and impressions of the Romanian capital through „loup-like lenses“. At the same time, they would listen to audio recordings realised by Hoheisel and Lang in Bucharest on headphones. The result was both surreal and intense, a micro-snapshot of a „metropolis in constant flux“.

All those who missed out on the exhibition can now recreate the experience at home. „Fragmente“ is not just a CD wrapped in a gorgeous book. Even though that is certainly part of its appeal. Rather, the package furthermore contains a slew of photographs and scetches complementing the audio section as well as short notes on the acoustic fragments contained on the album. Most of them deal with quotidian scenes and with short, seemingly irrelevant moments caught on tape. Some of these instances can be described in one or two sentences at most: „A man in a uniform trying to slow down the incessant stream of cars with his whistle“, one reads, for example. Another one has a Haiku-like quality to it: „In the darkness, two shapes in front of a prayer book. Muted conversations and shy, tender attempts at singing“.

Admittedly, these field notes are in German and Romanian only. But the accompanying pictures and the focused purity of the recordings are enough to get the message across nonetheless. Besides, it is not so much "special occurences" the artists are after here. Rather, „fragmente“ reveals itself by flicking through the book from beginning to end, observing the images and allowing the stream of concrete sound, opaque noises, radio babble, street talk and distant chants to pass you by and carry you along to the heart of town. The result is the same kind of virtual city guide the original installation provided – and an impression of Romania almost as vivid as visiting it for real.

Homepage: Gruenrekorder
Homepage: In Bukarest Project Homepage

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