The title of the exhibition leads us into a field of soundscapes, audio phenomena and the acoustic social space. The phrase “Silence of Sounds” provides a pretext for an in-depth analysis of the notion of silence, its utopian and paradoxical dimension.
Being a state that cannot be fully specified, silence only enables us to try to imagine it in order to come closer to an unreachable place, a pure and empty space devoid of sounds or emotions. Silence is a method of communication, a component of an utterance in its own right that makes it possible to experience personal space and is an indispensable element of understanding oneself. It is also a harbinger of sound and an undefined threat of loneliness and alienation, which may compel us to remain silent and consequently consent to anxiety and evil. An order to remain silent or revoking the right to vote are tools intended for symbolic violence that leads to exclusion. On the other hand, silence is an ideal of interpersonal communication testifying to honesty and an authentic relationship with another human being.
When uttering the word “silence”, our imagination directs us towards a circle of energy and noise whose centre lures us with a promise of a state devoid of any stimuli. This very word is charged with energy to a degree greater than scream or noise (which can also be used as exclamations ordering silence). Thus silence as a state does not exist, and any attempts to reach it are connected with taming sounds, anxiety, shouts and emotions; they require immense energy and inevitably lead to a utopia.
“Silence is not quietness but anxiety. Silence is deadly because it is human nature to act; we associate a lack of stimuli with the ultimate biological end. For this reason, we listen closely to silence just to make sure that it is not absolute, to prove that perfect silence does not exist because any sound contradicts it and becomes a testimony to being alive. Silence is how we celebrate death rather than life.”
Marek Wasilewski, Możliwość ciszy
The phrase “Silence of Sounds” is also the title of Jerzy Kornowicz’s piece dedicated to Szabolcs Esztény as well as a reference to Tomasz Sikora’s practice and his “Solitude of Sounds”.
During the opening following sound performance will take place “[in]audible” by Pablo Sanz —> www.pablosanz.info/inaudible