HAPPENINGText: Kana Sunayama

Just like the Nauman piece, I was also stunned by the work by Susan Phillipsz, The Lost Reflection. For this piece, the audience was required to get to a place marked on a map, that was under the bridge by the river. Some people were already there not doing much, sitting on the bridge girder and looking around to find the actual art piece. After a while trying to sense what would happen with there eyes, they would realize that they were veiled in music.

Susan Mary Philipsz OBE, The Lost Reflection

In this project, Phillipsz re-produced one of the scenes from The Tales of Hoffmann, a German Opera piece by Jacques Offenbach, as a duet sequence taking place both sides of the river. In this work, Phillipsz installed the Soprano and Mezzo-soprano parts of Giulietta on one side of the bank, and on the opposite bank, she installed her own recordings of the songs.

Susan Mary Philipsz OBE, The Lost Reflection

The songs started from one side, which were played under the massive stone bridge. As we listened into the voice of the song, the sounds came from the other bank. The two voices called out for one another, responded to each other, caused resonance, echoed under the bridge, and surrounded us with the sounds. It had such beautiful sounds and atmosphere, and you could see people on the opposite bank responding the same way to the same sounds and in the same atmosphere. The sound of the singing voice was bouncing back on the bridge above, the river was flowing slow, we were looking at the view of the opposite bank as if we were looking at ourselves in the reflection of a mirror. Everything seemed like it was overlapping in layers, and the whole atmosphere was so warm.

Just behind this bridge was the work by Rosemarie Trockel, a Cologne-based artist born in 1952, entitled Less Sauvage Than Others.

Rosemarie Trockel, Less Sauvage than Others

Whether it was made from metal, stone or clay, it was a sort of material that you would never imagine being used for sculptures, this work contained two block-sculptures made only with Spreading Yew. This kind of gap between these two blocks in this work can be found in places such as English gardens.

Rosemarie Trockel, Less Sauvage than Others

“Is there anything? Or is there nothing at all? I hope there is something, and I want to find what it is. If we go over through this gap, can we see anything? Or will something happen?”

This work stimulates our mind egging us on to see and peek at what’s over on the other side. However what we could actually see was the other side of the river.

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