Water, steaming pots, hotplate, glass, sound, text

Two steaming pots of water installed in a pale white-yellowish space. In the middle of the room a glass plate is hanging, a loud breathing can be heard from two monitors. After some time a female voice reads a text about an invisible wall between beings which seem insurmountable on the one hand, and on the other hand just an illusion. The glass in the middle of the room is getting covered in condensation by the heat and humidity in the room, thus invites the visitors to touch the glass to leave traces. The more often the glass is touched the more unstable it hangs in space. In the course of the exhibition it could fall down and break. This is a possible desired effect, while also the mould growing in the room through the humidity is another desired effect.

In 2015 the work became an audiotrack on the sound art compilation “Landscapes of fear” on the label Grünrekorder.:

“Alisa Berger’s Der Atmende Raum (The breathing space) is a long complex composition beginning and ending with the sounds of breathing and is styled as a confrontation with the place and history of a 19th century psychiatric hospital in Gorlitz. It’s a slow burning piece that gradually opens up after the initial breaths with distant voices, bubbling electronics and tense atmospheres. Eventually the hiss drops out leaving more pastoral sounds and incidental talk. If one could compare this to anything it might be Luc Ferrari’s Danses Organique which mapped the progression of a relationship between two women. Here Berger seems to want to map something like the internal experience of a person undergoing early forms of psychiatric care. Moments of clarity are interspersed with numbed atmospherics and unintelligible exchanges.”

Text by Duncan Simpson





fragment from text within sound composition:

There is this invisible wall between us and we constantly touch it. We lick it but we will never bite it in two. We will never break it. We touch it, it feels cold and wet, but we always forget about the wall when we take our hands off. You may know how I once said, I have no focus. That is not true. I have a focus and a clarity and it says that all this is worth nothing. It’s all void and measured in nothing. And like any truth, this truth is worth nothing and paradox. Paradox and banal. The invisible wall does not exist. There exist only the beings who believe in it. The beings who believe they are touching it.”

Post-breathing space - The moldy living space after two weeks of artificial respiration and mantraic incantation by sound, text, voice and steam.