shut up and listen! 2022
Permanente Präsentationen, 22. bis 24. September 2022 | Freitag, 23. September 2022, 19:00
Eröffnung: 22. September 2022, 19:00
The Movement of People Working
“The Movement of People Working” by minimalist composer, film maker and photographer Phill Niblock portrays human labor in its most elementary form. It is the combination of his slowly evolving harmonic music that creates an otherworldly masterpiece. The films and the music combine elements that seem contradictory, creating tension as a result. Impersonal motion patterns filmed in vibrant 1970s Kodachrome move side by side with glorious sounds that are caused by an acoustic phenomenon. However, there are striking parallels between the image and sound as well, not because one was made as a companion to the other, but because of correspondences at a deeper level. Both display movements within a larger frame that changes at an exceedingly slow rate, evoking simultaneous sensations of movement and immobility. Both transcend the strictly personal, thereby acquiring extra import. In juxtaposition they can bring about a curiously alert trance-like condition, in which associations have free rein. In experiencing “The Movement of People Working” you can decide to close your eyes and follow the music – one radiant chord, in which shifts occur continually on various levels; or you can follow the images and push the sound to the back of your mind. Both are prominently present, and yet they don’t force themselves on you. They don’t put a compelling claim on your concentration. In much the same way modesty shines through the images themselves: Niblock’s camera does not affect the behavior of the people he films; their dignity is left intact. There is no doubt that DVD is the perfect medium for the film and music of Phill Niblock. There is also no doubt that Niblock has, with the release of “The Movement of People Working”, expanded the possibilities of this medium.
Phill Niblock (b. 1933, USA) is an artist whose fifty-year career spans minimalist and experimental music, film and photography. Since 1985, he has served as director of Experimental Intermedia, a foundation for avant-garde music based in New York with a branch in Ghent, and curator of the foundation’s record label XI. Known for his thick, loud drones of music, Niblock’s signature sound is filled with microtones of instrumental timbres that generate many other tones in the performance space. In 2013, his diverse artistic career was the subject of a retrospective realised in partnership between Circuit (Contemporary Art Centre Lausanne) and Musée de l’Elysée. The following year Niblock was honoured with the prestigious Foundation for Contemporary Arts John Cage Award.