A vinyl release composed by Alexandre Babel in close collaboration with artist Latifa Echakhch, featuring significant contributions from the Berlin based musicians Rebecca Lenton, Theo Nabicht, Jon Heilbron and Nikki Schlierf. The record is meant to accompany the eponymous exhibition at the Swiss pavilion of the 59th Venice Art Biennale.
For her exhibition in the Swiss Pavilion, Latifa Echakhch created an orchestrated and enveloping experience, a rhythmic and spatial proposal that allowed the visitor a complete perception of time and of his own body. What is the origin of rhythm? How does the body perceive time? How does the mind rearrange it? Can we substitute one perception for another, the visual for the sound? Can fragments of memory go back in time and recreate a different story?
Her proposal entered a dialogue with the building around it, designed by Bruno Giacometti. The artist revisited its architectural programme as well as the prototypical progression of these exhibition spaces, originally defined for the display of classical art. She appropriated the entirety of the spaces, simultaneously exploring continuity, movement and sequence. Their relationship to light, and the different sounds that emerge from them. Yet the exhibition was entirely silent and the musical composition "The Concert" functions as its sound rendering, by following a similar path.
This one-sided vinyl is a complementary and inseparable partner piece to the exhibition and its eponymous catalogue, the latter having been published in April 2022 by Sternberg Press. The music features field recordings made at the Swiss Pavilion itself as well as pre-recorded percussion sounds and significant contributions by the Berlin-based musicians Jon Heilbronn, Rebecca Lenton, Theo Nabicht, Nikolaus Schlierf.
The record, available only after the closing of Latifa Echakhch's exhibition offers a concluding phase to the project. The resonance of its sensory score. It reactivates the experience of the physical journey of the installation, without imposing itself as a transcription or an illustration. Through texture, temporality and its totality, the record stands as a resonance of the rhythms that have structured the pavilion, the harmonies that have composed it and the sounds that have inhabited it.
This record is one of the three parts of the Swiss Pavilion, 59th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia 2022; the other two are the installation and the official catalogue
, published by Sternberg Press.
Concept, composition and field recordings:
Alexandre Babel with Latifa Echakhch.
Alexandre Babel, percussion;
Nikolaus Schlierf, viola;
Jonathan Heilbron, contrabass;
Rebecca Lenton, flute;
Theo Nabicht, contrabass clarinet.
Alexandre Babel is a Swiss percussionist, composer and curator based in Berlin,
involved in various contemporary contexts such as modern classical music, experimental music and performance art. Babel creates works that question the listener's expectations towards conventional musical forms. He is a founding Member of the performance collective Radial with the artist Mio Chareteau and was 2009 to 2019 solo percussionist in the contemporary music ensemble KNM Berlin. In 2020 the monographic Festival Les Amplitudes in La Chaux-de-Fonds focused on Babel's compositional and curatorial work. Babel has been the artistic director of the contemporary percussion collective Eklekto until 2022. He is a laureate of the Swiss Music Prize 2021.
Born 1974 in El Khnansa, Morocco, Latifa Echakhch came to France at the age of 3 but has lived for most of her life in Switzerland. Hers is a multi-referential and multidirectional work, just like her personal background, her travels and her eclectic centres of interest.
Latifa Echakhch tends to produce installation pieces that are in direct connection with the space in which they are presented, thereby blending personal, multicultural, historical and sociological references.
“Latifa Echakhch's works are proof that art can be instrumental to exchange and social engagement without necessarily being patronizing or exploitative. While her sculptures are elegant and delicate, the visitor must nevertheless not be deceived by this sensibility when she examines subjects such as culture, geography, and personal and collective histories. She explores these systems through mundane objects, images, and ordinary situations, repositioning them in a social and political debate. The visual and conceptual power of her combination of Minimalism and Romanticism is potent but misleading. What emerges is a fundamental belief in the dignity of the subjects and what art can bring in terms of reflection, even in its most critical form. Objects that begin as banal then become messengers of emotions such as melancholy and anger, and offer a silent point of view on the failure of utopias.” (Florence Derieux)
Latifa Echakhch recently exhibited at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Tate Modern, London; Kunsthaus Zurich; MACBA in Barcelona, and the Fridericianum in Kassel.