Anri Sala at the Serpentine Gallery in Hyde Park
An exhibition of sound/performance/film/sculpture and light.
This is the first time I had seen/heard his work and initially I am a little confused inside the installation. I try not to read too much information prior to looking, as I like to understand it on my own terms first.
A snare drum is playing on it's own, a pair of rubber hands moving in a set way in a darkened room and in the next room a film. The large windows of the serpentine are covered, cut out slots allowed light to filter in casting patterns. Looking through the slots I can see different chunks of the park. In the film somebody was slowly feeding disorganised pieces of slotted card into a barrel organ creating chopped up sound. Moving on through a dark space and into the next room, a film followed a man wandering around outside a neglected and graffitti covered building, he is carrying a box and winding the handle to play 'should I stay or should I go'.
Now that I recognise the music, I feel a little more comfortable and begin to enjoy how the sounds from each room mix as they pass through the spaces. A real saxophonist begins playing adding to this mixture, unfortunately the mini barrel organ in the window isn't working.
The visual ambiguity of slots of light (the same pattern as the music score) that create both the patterns inside the room and snapshots of outside simultaneously are interesting. These combined with the quiet visual film footage and mixture of sounds leaking through from the separate room spaces, all evoke a very specific atmosphere. It is both a moving and at the same time enjoyable experience.