JA as long as I can
by A K Dolven & John Giorno
Oslo / New York (2012)
Soundwork ca 22 Min.
in association with Artprojx, Wilkinson Gallery, School of Sound and supported by NABROAD/ Norwegian Collaborative Organisation for Contemporary Art Abroad
Rio Cinema, Dalston
107 Kingsland High St, London E8 2PB
Saturday 8 March 2014
at 2.30pm till 3.15pm
Introduced by David Gryn, Artprojx and Larry Sider, School of Sound
Followed by drinks at
from 3.30pm till 5.30pm
50-58 Vyner St, London E2 9DQ
Please RSVPto firstname.lastname@example.org
A K Dolven and John Giorno
Image: (Detail) A K Dolven, JA as long as I can (2013) – performance still, HAU 1, Berlin (detail)
JA as long as I can – A K Dolven and John Giorno is supported by NABROAD/ Norwegian Collaborative Organisation for Contemporary Art Abroad part of International Projects 2014
Image: A K Dolven / Kunsthal 44Møen 2013
Ja, as long as I can.
Oslo / New York (2012) *
Soundwork ca 22 Min.
Ja, as long as I can is a transatlantic dialogue, a duet with A K Dolven and John Giorno as performers. Both utter and vary the word “ja”, the Norwegian equivalent of “yes”, for as long as their energy spans to give the word different shades of colour, of energy and meaning.
John Giorno (born 1936) is an American poet and performance artist. He founded the not-for-profit production company Giorno Poetry Systems and organized a number of early multimedia poetry experiments and events, including Dial-A-Poem. He became prominent as the subject of Andy Warhol’s film Sleep (1963) and is a poet performing internationally today. Giorno and Dolven did meet in Lofoten, Norway, summer 2011.
The work is an exploration into the quality of sound as a potent signifier of many things at the same time: of corporeal and temporal presence, of emotional as well as informational meaning, of the acute experience of spatial presence and absence, of harmony or dissent amongst human beings, as well as of the passage of time.
A K Dolven’s new sound piece also invites reflection on the different ways to experience time and to think about time: different time levels are being explored here alongside with a reflection of how psychological processes structure time: exhaustion and fatigue, impatience, the will of expression, of filling and structuring the flow of air, of struggling for air.
As an artistic endeavour, Ja, as long as I can is also a study of the human voice as the oldest instrument and medium of mankind. Dolven’s sound piece poignantly shows that the human voice is, at the same time, markedly physical and highly ephemeral. Here sound literally travels in time and space: from Norway to the East coast of the USA, from a female European visual artist in her fifties to a male, North American spoken word artist in his seventies. Both performers stand for their respective cultural time, and both their voices are consequently tinged by time, by their differing gender, their respective upbringing, by a varying life experience as well as by their emotional proximity or distance to the Norwegian language.
In Dolven’s use of the single affirmative word “ja”, she explores the material qualities of the male and the female vocal cords in motion, and the many different emotional hues these qualities can transmit to the listener. In letting these two unseen bodies physically interact with each other to the rhythm of the different lengths of breath it takes to utter the word “ja” with varying expressions, A K Dolven provokes the perceptual effect of watching movements of two shadows. This is, of course, reminiscent of her recent film work vertical on my own, 2011.
But there are many other ways, in which this new work binds together themes that A K Dolven has been developing over a long period of time: the formal, material, perceptual and emotional effects of artistic expression bordering on the immaterial, the unseen.
Here, “soft” forms of expression are applied, such as bright and soft light, hazy whites, shadows, ambient sound, the sound of the human voice, movement, atmosphere, as well as the energies triggered by the interaction of humans with each other – be it in conversation, movement or, generally, in the manifestations of friendship. Dolven’s art has also been for a long time “performative”, “participatory” and “site-specific” in a broader, more abstract and subtler sense of the word than it is mostly used in the art world.
A K Dolven’s new sound work was invited for broadcasting by Kunststücke of Deutschlandradio Kultur in 2013. *
*Text and work in cooperation with Dr. Gaby Hartel, born 1959, freelance cultural historian and curator.
Gaby Hartel 27/9/2012
Additional Comments from A K Dolven studio 22.1.14:
JA as long as I can was broadcast in the programme Kunststücke, Deutschlandradio Kultur, Germany June 2013 and performed live in Schwanengesang – Performance programme, Hebbel am Ufer (HAU1), Berlin September 2013.
Other exhibition history:
2013 CCC, Tours, France
2013 Kunsthall 44 Møn, Denmark