Buried in the Mix
MEWO Kunsthalle, Memmingen
22 September 2017- 14 January 2018

1115, Fatima Al Qadiri, Chino Amobi, Sonia Boyce, Vivian Caccuri, Tony Cokes, Sofía Cordova, Christopher Kirkley, Los Jaichackers (Julio Cesar Morales & Eamon Ore-Giron), Carlos Monroy, Nastio Mosquito, Andrew Pekler, Mario Pfeifer, Andrew Putter, Thibaut de Ruyter, Kemang Wa Lehulere and Samson Young

The exhibition Buried in the Mix explores the ways in which cultural forms, identities and narratives are produced, circulated and transferred across geographies, traditions and media.

Featuring drawings, video, (sound) installation, vinyl record albums and performance, the exhibition turns to sound as a vehicle to reconstitute negated voices, subjectivities and histories. It relies on the knowledge that recorded sound stretches far and wide, bringing us into contact with an abundant range of heteroge- neous noises, musical structures and forgotten musicians and practices.

Audio technologies are critical sites through which social and cultural politics are imagined, expressed, and legitimated. In as much as sound and music act upon and inform cultural spaces, they are themselves constitutive forces in history. Acts of recording are unavoidably shaped by social and economic networks of power. Early encounters of the colonial enterprise can be heard in the extensive collections of the Berlin Phonogramm-Archiv, whereas, despite the proliferation of music production tools today, music executives, software designers and record labels play a determinative role in what music gets produced and heard.

Buried in the Mix turns to songs and soundtracks, club music, music videos and field recordings as sites that contest, disorient and reconstitute cultural memory and social knowledge. Works included in this exhibition attune us to the resonances of coloniality and western modernity, reveal structural di erences of relation, and open up spaces for the production and reception of a range of experiences. Sampling and remixing are methods used by the artists, musicians and DJs in the exhibition to deviate from established paradigms. Through a crossing of aesthetic and conceptual borders, narratives are redirected, sonic tex- tures are rewoven and new vernaculars emerge. Taking sonic recording and music as a practice of social and political space, Buried in the Mix brings together projects which syncopate rhythms, rework scripts and reorient tools towards new potentialities.

How we listen and what we hear varies based on di erences of social positions, cultural backgrounds or political alignments. This exhibition thus raises questions as: ‘How do we hear power and history?’, and, ‘How can we listen across cultures and environments?’

Photos: MEWO Kunsthalle, Carsten Eisfeld

Sofia Cordova