Hlysnan — Listening
I was asked to write a text for the exhibition catalogue of Hlysnan, which opened recently in Luxembourg and is ongoing for the next few months. My essay is on everyday listening and is informed greatly by conversations with listeners during the Soundwalking Interactions project.
CURATOR(S): BERIT FISCHER, KEVIN MUHLEN
ARTIST(S): LAWRENCE ABU HAMDAN, ANGIE ATMADJAJA, KADER ATTIA, NINA BEIER & MARIE LUND, DANIELA BRAHM & LES SCHLIESSER, PETER CUSACK, CLARE GASSON, MARCO GODINHO, CHRISTINE SUN KIM, BRANDON LABELLE, ANDRA MC CARTNEY, JOHN MENICK, ANGEL NEVAREZ & VALERIE TEVERE, UDO NOLL, EMEKA OGBOH, YOKO ONO, SUSAN SCHUPPLI, CHRISTINE SULLIVAN & ROB FLINT, JOHN WYNNE
In the Old English word hlysnan, “to listen”, the focus is on the notions of attention and intent. Similarly the emphasis in the project HLYSNAN: The Notion and Politics of Listening lies on the active act not merely of hearing – usually referring to automatic or passive sound perception – but rather specifically on listening; hearing with intent.
Listening requires intensified concentration and attentiveness towards what one is listening to; it is linked to the notion of desire, anticipation and understanding, a striving for a possible meaning. HLYSNAN: The Notion and Politics of Listening understands listening as agency, as gesture, as attitude and as taking a position. The exhibition attempts to reconcile audio practices with contemporary social and political realities and invites the visitor to actively experience, listen and engage with the sense of hearing to the various complex interplays.
Publication | The accompanying HLYSNAN: The Notion and Politics of Listening publication is considered an extending and supplementing format to the exhibition. Not only the concepts materialised in the exhibition are developed and contextualised further, but with complementing contributions by additional artists, the project offers a comprehensive overview on the various questions around the notion and politics of listening.