Høvikodden Live 09, this year entitled To be Heard is to be Seen, investigates the voice as a medium and metaphor. The exhibition and the concert programme focus on the body as a tool for expression, rhetoric and messages – both political and social.

“To be Heard is to be Seen” balances on a cutting edge between three different perspectives: in the visual arts, the voice is used as a metaphor, in performance, as a theatrical effect and in music, as a medium for experimental song techniques. A number of artists and musicians explore the scope of the voice and press back the boundaries of its potential, and of how it is formed:

The Serbian artist Katarina Zdjelar’s contribution to the exhibition is “A Perfect Voice”, a video about how the voice can be trained in order to eliminate audible defects compared to certain norms. By combining visual and historical references in her work “Triplight”, the Norwegian-American Camille Norment investigates the space between what we hear and what we actually perceive, while in “Swing Low”, the public must search for the work themselves by listening to an abstract, whistling sound based on the well-known song. Alejandra Salinas (Spain) and Aeron Bergman (USA) are represented at the exhibition with their text-animated video “Wildflowers”.

The video blends the closely linked rhetoric of speech and the written word, while at the same time borrowing elements from billboard aesthetics and the “cut and paste” typical of experimental radio documentaries. In the form of a twelve-metre long mural, Anna Sigmond Gudmundsdottir (Norway) addresses the relationship between questions of normality, the body and those voices that do not get a hearing.

“To be Heard is to be Seen” presents a number of singers, poets and performance artists who incorporate space as a core element of their concerts and operate in an area somewhere between visual art and the presentation forms of traditional theatre. One of these is the voice artist Jaap Blonk from the Netherlands, who investigates sounds in a given space.

Many of the younger artists, for example Tori Wrånes (Norway) and Simona Barbera (Italy) work within genres that are a crossover between installations, music and performance and draw on the knowledge and experience of famous singers.

The concert programme includes several different perspectives on the theme of the voice – from the extended voice techniques of Sidsel Endresen, Stine Jarvin Motland and Maja Ratkje, to metal music’s use of extreme vocal techniques and stage aesthetics, represented by the acclaimed Japanese noise artist Merzbow and the vocal project Void ov Voices by Attilla (Mayhem), to jazz and rock’s more traditional treatments of the voice, as performed by Susanna and Serena Maneesh. A notable events on the opening day will be a commissioned work by the American Stephen O’Malley, perhaps better known as one half of the band SunnO))).


Participating artists:

Anna Sigmond Gudmundsdottir, Aeron Bergman & Alejandra Salinas, Camille Norment, diskJokke, Famlende Forsøk, Jaap Blonk, Katarina Zdjelar, Maja Solveig Kjelstrup Ratkje, Merzbow, Noxagt, Pierre Huyghe, Serena Maneesh, Sidsel Endresen, Simona Barbera, Sten Hanson, Stephen O´Malley, Stine Janvin Motland, Susanna, Tori Wrånes and Void ov Voices.

Curators: Tone Hansen, Lars Mørch Finborud and Lasse Marhaug