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Pacific Shortcuts [2]:Leah Barclay . Mez Breeze . Nigel Helyer 14 – 24 . 07 . 2014

Pacific Shortcuts [2]:
Leah Barclay . Mez Breeze . Nigel Helyer

14 – 24 . 07 . 2014

part of the exhibition-in-progress Pacific Shortcuts
05 . 07. – 15. 08 . 2014
artists: Leah Barclay, Mez Breeze, Ian Clothier / Andrew Hornblow, Shannon Novak, Nigel Helyer, Pierre Proske

curator: Darko Fritz

program Monday 14th July:
21 h . Shifting Nature live performance by Leah Barclay
22 h . exhibition opening

The exhibition Pacific Shorcuts presents artists from Australia and New Zealand who tackle the notion of nature and natural processes via the medium of technology. Within the month long period there will be three artists presented simultaneously every ten days. Besides, there will be a series of lectures and performances.

At the opening, Leah Barclay will live perform Shifting Nature, an immersive live performance of her electroacoustic music and sounds. The evening continues with the opening of the second part of the exhibition where the sound installations by Leah Barclay and Nigel Helyer as well video and internet artwork by Mez Breeze are being exhibited.


Sound Mirrors is an immersive sonic environment that responds to significant rivers across the world. Throughout 2009 to 2012, Leah Barclay travelled through Australia, India, Korea, China, Hong Kong and Brazil capturing the sound of rivers and their surrounding communities. The resulting work is an ephemeral experience that slides through vivid landscapes and rich cultural traditions. The source materials range from hydrophone recordings of the Amazon River Dolphin in central Brazil to pilgrims chanting at dusk on the banks of the Pamba in southern India. Sound Mirrors explores rivers as the lifeblood of communities and underscores the value of listening in our current state of ecological uncertainty, weaving diverse cultural and natural soundscapes into a dense and unpredictable sonic environment.
Shifting Nature is a live performance based on environmental field recordings made during Barclay’s Sound Mirrors project, this live adaptation mixes sections from each composition in an immersive performance.


Mez Breeze is presented with a series of works in different media: Wish4[0] is a multimedia internet project that lasted for forty days in the form of a diary, video works which emerged within that project. Wish4[0] is set of 40 digital and networked poems based on a poetic interpretation of the maxim “Be Careful What You Wish For”. The title of the work, Wish4[0] is a truncation – and linguistic reworking – of the idea of wish fulfillment in the digital age, one where willing users and audience members are subjected to an “always-on” news cycle, where social media and content streaming are now a primary method of information sourcing and privacy is becoming an ever more elastic concept.
Wish4[0] takes as its inspiration this perpetual tugging at a user’s consciousness by the digital, in a cycle that promotes a type of constant remembering and forgetting of firehosed content. Each work takes as its immediate inspiration a headline (or item) drawn from the electronic news cycle of that specific day.
The resulting block of poetic works:
1) Act as a digital and creative “literary snapshot” of a specific period.
2) Highlight the accelerated nature of an electronic/networked-based news cycle.
3) Illustrate the discrepancies – and perhaps similarities – between how a digital audience responds to items deemed newsworthy (and worth remembering or forgetting) and creative responses to such items.
4) Echo (and partially emulate) elements of digital culture that have become seamlessly integrated into our everyday lives (including programs such as Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Vine, Snapchat and Instagram).


Nigel Helyer presents a new version of his installation Songs from the UnderWorld_V3, now including new visual and sound elements made during his residence in Korčula.  The new elements include mourning songs from Dalmatia and Lyre music build in vintage radio receivers.
The work tackles the issue of death from the perspective of the  the myth of Orpheus and his journey into the Underworld where and examines the metaphor of the power of Art and Poetry to overcome mortality. The various layers of cultural audio are modified by underground seismic data.
Artist statement:
In a Cosmos of noise and static they say it is music that calms the savage beast.  It is music and voice, fused into song that civilises us. Orpheus, the mythopoetic father of song sailed with Jason’s crew of the Argonauta and averted tragedy by outplaying the alluring song of the Sirens.   And it was Orpheus who journeyed into the Underworld to reclaim his dead wife Euridice by charming Hades and Persephone with the song of his magical Lyre, asserting the power of love and music over death.
Again it was Orpheus who as he regained the Upperworld looked back at his beloved in a moment of forgetfulness, lost her forever.  But then there is Maui,the Maori diety who also attempted to cheat death – but that’s another story ……..
Songs from the Underworld remixes Rilke’s Sonnets of Orpheus with Maori song in a sound installation driven by seismic environmental data.  The stringed instrument, at once Lyre, Weapon and Antennae, a parabola tuned into the world and the afterlife.

Radio broadcast / sound file Nigel Helyer in conversation with Darko Fritz (37 min.)

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