Clepsichor II - Black Noise

Clepsichor II as the part of group exhibition Black Noise
currated by Işın Önol and Ekmel Ertan

9 September to 23 December 2017
Akbank Sanat, Istanbul

Participating artists: Burak Arıkan, Servet Cihangiroğlu, Didem Erk, Richard Jochum, Cengiz Tekin, Anna Vasof, Mirko Lazović

About the exhibition: 

In fields such as audio engineering, electronics and physics the colour of noise refers to the spectrum of energy that it carries. White, pink or black noise have different characteristics. Black noise is a type of noise where the dominant energy level is zero throughout all frequencies, with occasional sudden rises; it is also defined as silence.

Contrary to general consideration, sound and silence are not each other’s opposite, but they are mutually inclusive. Their complex relationship becomes visible in this impossible set: sound is a superset of silence, and silence of sound; and both are contained by that which they contain. Silence has a sound, and with it, a measurable, transformable power. The opposite of this proposition is also possible: when sound loses its content, context, and meaning, it is transformed into noise, and noise into silence. Becoming silent and silencing do not point to a loss of power, and neither does the presence of noise refer to the existence, or the acquisition of power.

Sessizlik in Turkish, created by a negative suffix denoting a lack of sound, is synonymous with the word “silence”, which is also used as a verb in western languages with the meaning of “causing to become silent; prohibiting or preventing from speaking”. Although often used in expressions that imply a tense and passive period of anticipation before and/or after an event, such as the silence of death, silence of the lambs, silence before the rain; silence, in fact, is loaded with sound and action. On the other hand, while sound is a representation of expression, action, co-existence, and nature, sometimes it is not more powerful than in its absence.

The contemporary art project, Black Noise, explores the complex relationship between sound and silence; it focuses on the transformation, the function, the functionlessness, the poetry, the occasional meaninglessness, and sometimes on the power of sound, as a means of artistic expression, in various different spheres. By activating the wide range of associations created by sound and silence, the exhibition encourages the works that carry social references to communicate with one another and with the viewer.