A Project of Transversal Mediation Around Sound and Aural Culture
Education programme developed with the sponsorship of the Banco Santander Foundation
An eardrum is a membrane, an outer and inner limit. The eardrum vibrates to the world, transmitting its activity and vibrations towards the inner part of our body. This extremely thin but highly elastic and resistant tissue receives strikes carried by the air to let codes pass through in the form of nerve impulses that are recognisable to the brain. The eardrum is oblique and translucent. It is a microphone, a drum, a speaker. It grips a hammer that strikes an anvil that shakes a stirrup that moves a liquid that, in its movement, generates electricity which later… Later it’s all sound: shouts, whispers, explosions, words.
At the present time, a number of the Museo’s exhibitions converge — Disonata. Art in Sound up to 1980; Audiosphere. Sound Experimentation 1980–2020; Concha Jerez. Our Memory Is Being Stolen; Niño de Elche. Invisible Auto Sacramental: A Sonic Representation from Val del Omar — placing sound (or sound art) at the centre. Different, at times opposing, approaches which reverberate around the Museo’s rooms simultaneously and trigger a conversion of our passive capacity to hear into active listening, reminding us, to paraphrase the artist Muntadas, that “perception requires participation”. Listening with the eardrum, yes, but also with our eyes, with our skin, by reading, by moving. Active listening, which is profound. Hearing by thinking.
With that in mind, the Museo’s Education Area sets in motion a series of actions, listening journeys, encounters and mediation projects to accompany and amplify these exhibitions, inviting participation for anyone interested in absorbing and reflecting on sounds to form a diverse group of hearers and listeners that can, at the same time, transmit back their experiences and impressions.
Listening together and sharing that which is heard. This is the aim of the first edition of Audio Society, which gets under way with the exhibition Audiosphere. Sound Experimentation 1980–2020 and, on this occasion, features the participation of five pre-eminent figures in the sphere of art, sound and aural culture: María Andueza, Alberto Bernal, José Luis Espejo, Marina Hervás and Susana Jiménez. Each one has devised a listening route based around works in the show, in addition to the proposal put forward by the exhibition’s creator — implemented in the listening device with which the standard visit is made.
The recommendations or alternative routes of our five “guides”, accompanied by concise explanatory notes to be read or listened to, can be following independently, accessing the available content below. Additionally, people who wish to do so can participate as listeners or share their experiences, concerns and comments in the so-called Sound Assemblies in our Audio Society. These will take place on consecutive Thursdays in the months of November and December, and will be accompanied and moderated by each of the five “mediators”.
On the stairwells of the Sabatini Building echo unheard voices, forgotten names, spaces of ignominy. We cross the corridor in silence and travel through past words that have been, conscientiously, buried in endless scribbles.
From trap to trap, a form of divertimento put forward by the artist, we travel through different rooms: places of collective and individual memory, inhabited by images of denouncement, pain and personal experiences. A memory stolen from us, one that remains concealed yet, at the same time, is revealed unconsciously, between what is said and what is hushed.
Through this journey around the exhibition Concha Jerez. Our Memory Is Being Stolen, we approach the artist’s reflections on some of the events that form our recent history, as witnesses and protagonists in the dialogue between the artist and the historical building housing her work.
As a bona-fide disonata, this journey offers multiple readings and possibilities: irony, sarcasm, nihilism; the poetic; pure sound; the objectual and the political. Not only views but also experiences can come to pass in the exhibition rooms, coordinated by people from the mediation team.
The Listening School, the Museo’s teacher-training project, sets forth a programme of sound tours around the exhibitions Audiosphere. Sound Experimentation 1980–2020, Disonata. Art in Sound up to 1980, and Niño de Elche. Invisible Auto Sacramental: A Sonic Representation from Val del Omar. The aim is to build a space of collective listening and facilitate tools that develop into a new way of moving through the Museo with students.
These tours are structured in two parts: first, an independent tour or group tour with limited numbers around the aforementioned temporary exhibitions, following a set route made up of a series of pre-selected works. Second, an encounter in different spaces inside the Museo to share experiences, paying attention to the sounds heard and discovering how we resonate together.