German artist Lisa Premke reveals her craft through ‘Singing Patterns’

Kochi Biennale Foundation organizes ‘Let’s Talk’ session at Pepper House

The idea of nature taking its course and being part of the environment always strikes me. Every chain has a different tone and frequency in it depending upon the elements it is made up of and those surrounding it. There is no mono sound here. These chains depict the various communities and culture of the place,” said German artist Lisa Premke.

She was addressing the audience at a ‘Let’s Talk’ session on her installation “Singing Patterns”, organised by the Kochi Biennale Foundation (KBF) at Pepper House on Saturday evening. The programme encourages open dialogue by inviting prominent artists and thinkers to discuss their creative work.

The German artist has been part of the Pepper House Residency for the past one month, exploring the area and creating work as response. She is in India as part of the bangaloREsidency programme of the Goethe-Institut, Bengaluru.

Premke works with acoustics, sounds and cultural heritage. Her practice involves taking apart discarded systems and using their elements for transformation in acoustic objects and site-specific installations.

Whether it is abandoned industries, or failed political systems, or the deconstruction of language—the artist experiments with the perception of absence and intimacy with immaterial commonalities. It is a re-enactment of familiar and at the same time completely unknown situations. Through friction, resistance and reverberation, the material finds a voice that narrates itself.

The artist in Premke can hear sound in everything that she sees. She was in Kerala during the monsoon and the sound of the rain chains so fascinated her that she started working with it. Her installation at the Pepper House includes plastic, unstained steel, and all kinds of aluminium, and she listens to the sounds they make when these singing patterns move. For her installation, she picked different materials to have different notes that she wanted.

In the studio space of Pepper House, she finds a slice of real Kochi. “When I normally work I find traces of things; I’m interested in what people leave behind as individuals, but mainly as communities. I somehow found people don’t leave much behind here. I find it a surprising mix. The culture and heritage are so strong that everything gets carried, and yet there’s a constant fluctuation of things – there’s a huge mix of every culture, every religion. Everything is moving forward, and yet, everyone is carrying their history, culture and traditions. I don’t know how that works out yet in my practice, but it’s something new and something I quite like. I’ve worked with traces that are carried on and they transform very slowly. There’s an opposition to me here, because there are a lot of contradictory elements that come together here,” she noted.

KBF President Bose Krishnamachari, Kochi-Muziris Biennale (KMB-2018) curator Anita Dube   and a number of other renowned artists were present at the talk.

Her Installation was also showcased at the Open Studio on September 7 and 8 and later at the Residency show parallel to the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, which gets underway on December 12

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