Rafael Lozano-Hemmer

‘Voice Theatre’ at Augusta Rarica, Basel

Jun 11 - Jul 1, 2018

In June 2018, the Mexican-Canadian artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer presented an impressive site-specific and interactive installation in Augusta Raurica, the best-preserved ancient theatre north of the Alps.

“Voice Theatre” is a site-specific sound and light installation developed by Lozano-Hemmer especially for Augusta Raurica: In the middle of the ancient theatre there is a microphone to record the voices of the participants. These messages, ideas and thoughts are then reproduced in real time on speakers distributed across the ranks of the theatre. At the same time they are visually transformed into rings of light that radiate beyond the grandstands of the theatre. If no one is speaking, the speakers reproduce the recordings of the last participants. “Voice Theatre” is a commissioned work by HeK in collaboration with the theatre board of Augusta Raurica.

In “Voice Theatre”, the artist explores the unique architecture of the ancient auditorium and explores the contrast between presence and absence: concepts that are usually described as mutually exclusive or opposites. In “Voice Theatre” they are presented as echoes of each other, with the concrete traces left behind by the voices of the visitors. In their messages, the audience should in particular deal with the question of what culture means for each individual. The piece thus creates a memorial theatre of live and recorded messages that can be seen and heard.

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11.06.2018 – 01.07.2018