Awakening of Birds (Messiaen Reversed)
New Media | Installation
This project is based on Réveil des Oiseaux (Awakening of Birds), a composition for piano and orchestra by the legendary Modernist composer, Olivier Messiaen (1908-1982), which premiered in 1953. Our project attempts to reverse and undo Messiaen’s original process of transcribing bird calls of 38 species and reconstruct the entire score by using the actual birds calls of the species Messiaen treated as his “prototypes”, and completely remove the sounds of man-made, man-played instruments. It will be a form of sonic montage that faithfully follows the notation by Messiaen, yet completely made out of recordings of all 38 kinds of birds studied by the composer.
Joanna Malinowska and C.T. Jasper are Polish-born, US-based visual artists. Having worked and exhibited individually for many years, they now focus on collaborative projects. Their work spans installation, film, video, sculpture, and explores themes of national identity and its paradoxes, filtered through the lenses of ‘experimental anthropology.’ In 2015, the duo represented Poland at the Venice Biennale with the project Halka/Haiti 18°48’05”N 72°23’01”W, later shown at the Göteborg Biennial of Art, Ghetto Biennale in Port-au-Prince, and included in exhibitions around the world, from Japan to Australia. The project Mother Earth Sister Moon was commissioned by the Performa’09 and shown at Nottingham Contemporary and Warsaw’s Zachęta – The National Gallery of Art. In 2015, Malinowska and Jasper presented Relations Disrelations in the Łódź Museum of Art, an exhibition summing up their individual and joint works. Among their recent projects are The Emperor’s Canary, a sound installation commissioned by the High Line in New York and later presented as a part of Cornell Biennial’18 and in Centre Pompidou-Metz; the installations In Savage Society (GGM, Gdańsk, 2019) and Jurassic Garden (Le Guern, Warsaw, 2020), and commissioned for the latest edition of the Triennale Brugge, Who is Afraid of Natasha?, a film and public space installation.