{214-218 Severinstrasse, Cologne}

Where formerly the historic Cologne city archive was situated, today we look into a deep, black crater of lost archived memories.

Directly ‘next door’ we enter the building Severinstrasse 214-218, a vacant former office building that is planned to be replaced for a new exclusive apartment block with shops at ground floor. But nothing can be done before the circumstances of the collapse of the archive has been forensically clarified. Two buildings bonded by fate, a historic loss, human failure, a crime that will probably never be solved.

Legions of office cabinets, conference tables, desks, used glasses, latte macchiato coffee cups, pens, papers, files and a news paper articles on the collapse of the city archive next door form the remains of former utilizations of the office building. We also find traces of the temporary architect’s bureau that was commissioned with the protection of the collapse side of the city archive.

On three vast floors with over 40 rooms, connected by a reverberant system of staircases and tubes sounds are stored in the body of the architecture, manifesting memories of the past. Office situations appear as sounding sculptures, suddenly, blurring, abruptly disappearing or fading into another sound in another room, tearing the listener into another spatio-sonic constellation.

Stories are being told by listening.

A space does not simply exist in isolation, but can only be understood in relation to something else – movement, perception of the senses, objects inside of it, and acoustical research. A space does not simply consist of four walls, a floor and ceiling; its full dimension does not unfold without one walking into it – it is the human experience that makes it what it is. And this experience is one expressed through time, through a convergence with careful observation – the auditory sense.

A spatial sound-composition as the last tenant of the building

Composition: Gerriet K. Sharma
Documentation: Nico Bergmann
Curator: Georg Dietzler

Premiere: September 23, 2015
Opening with podium discussion about temporary cultural utilisation of vacant buildings and sonic architectures in every day life with Frau Dr. Könches, Kunststiftung NRW / Tanja Kilger, BPD Immobilienentwicklung GmbH / Daniel Mennicken, ON – Neue Musik Köln e.V. / Gerriet K. Sharma, sound artist and composer  / Georg Dietzler, artist and curator / Mischa Kuball, artist & Prof. media art.
Funded by SK Stiftung Cologne and Kunststiftung NRW.

Thank you all for your support.


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