Solo exhibition; Raum 58; Munich, Germany. 2006
1. adj. a conceptual whole made up of complex and related parts.
2. n. an estimated likeness of a face created from eyewitness descriptions.
Composite is a sound installation consisting of numerous small speakers mounted on the walls of the gallery, quietly murmuring in a tangle of long audio cords. Listening closely to any one of the speakers, you hear a person addressing “you”, and describing “your” personality in greater or lesser detail. The voices belong to various individuals in the Munich art scene whom I invited to make a verbal description of someone else within the scene. While no names or physical attributes are mentioned, you may recognize yourself (or others) in the audio portraits.
Composite was made for the specific context of Raum 58, an off-space located in a quieter area of Munich, where the show would be viewed for the most part by people already on certain mailing lists, and mostly by appointment after the opening.
I invited local artists, curators, gallerists, art historians, et al., to verbally describe another person within the local art scene, spoken as if they were addressing that person directly (for example, “You have a sharp mind, you are quick to make connections...”). Most of the descriptions were spoken in German, with a few in English and a mix of both languages; the unedited recordings were used just as they were.
This work is an exploration of the way we see ourselves versus the way others see us, and which parts of ourselves we reveal to different people as we navigate our way through various personal / social / professional contexts in our lives.
Two local curators Peter Pinnau and Uli Aigner had always admired each other. But because of their professional relationship they never had the occasion to express their fondness for each other in so many words. So, it was a happy coincidence when Peter recognized himself being described, and then recognized Uli’s voice. At the same time, Uli also recognized herself being flatteringly described by Peter.
photos by: Stephanie Senge and Lynn Lu