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Studio Schwitters
2010
Installation: speakers, table and computer
Reference: ACF0988
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Strongly rooted in the conceptual tradition, the work of Pavel Büchler (Prague, 1952) generates multiple references to moments and works of art history, philosophy and literature with the aim of examining and updating their original meanings in search of new systems for understanding and receiving specific types of content. The artist makes supple use of presentation formats as diverse as installation, video, sound and writing to explore and question the limits of language. Studio Schwitters is a tribute to one of the key pieces of twentieth-century sound poetry: the Ursonate (1922-1932), by Kurt Schwitters, a complex phonetic poem the Dadaist artist started work on in 1921, inspired by a poster poem by Raoul Hausmann. The work is a prelinguistic sonata which—freeing itself from the need to be meaningful and understandable—offers a flexible, renewed vision of the function of poetry. In this installation, consisting of a wall covered with horn speakers that are connected to a central computer, Büchler adds a new filter to Schwitters’ score. A German language text-to-speech program reads the poem, offering a new phonetic interpretation of the original 21-minute piece recited by Schwitters. The program applies a series of rules that modify the content and structure of the sonata, extending it to 39 minutes.

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