Photographic installation with soundscapes –
a collaboration between photographer Csilla Szabó and composer Marcus Fjellström
The titular demons of this photo series appeared when Csilla Szabó was working on her previous series, Symmetry. While arranging and rearranging the photos, mirroring, inversing, and pasting them together in order to find geometrical or figurative symmetries, these apparitions materialized. According to the historical vedic of tradition, demons can be observed by those whose third eye has been activated. This prompted the question: does the lens of the camera function as that third eye?
Historically, demons have not always been considered malevolent. To the shamanistic tribes of North America and Central Asia, they were not subject to the conventional western idea of dividing the world into good or bad. Not guided by human sensibilities, these presumed demons were seen as being oblivious to our laws, rules and ethics, just as nature itself. When deciding to make themselves known to us humans, they are said to put on a face in order for us to recognize them. We need eyes to look into, a mouth that can talk to us, ears that can listen to us. When wearing these human elements, for a moment they allow a connection between these two completely separate but equally complex worlds that exist parallel to each other.
Every step of Szabó’s work is carried out within the analog domain. She develops the negatives, then enlarges, flattens and retouches the final prints. The photographs are large in scale; the excessive enlargement, as well as being pleasing to the eye, also helps in building a substantial sculpture, a totem to these demons, and the prints of these images are printed upon becomes the window between the two worlds, through which – from both sides – we can gaze into each other’s realities.
This photo series is conceived as a celebration of this special moment of connection.
To further shape the personalities and emotional qualities of the demons, composer Marcus Fjellström will give each demon its own voice through specifically constructed compositions and soundscapes. With the added dimension of a carefully considered musical interpretation for each demon, their identities are being clarified and made all the more relatable to our human senses.
In an installation setup, the demons will be mounted on the walls of the exhibition space, while the individual sound pieces are played consecutively in a loop over loudspeakers installed behind each photograph.
Csilla Szabó is a fine art photographer and analogue B&W printer, born in Budapest, lives and works in Berlin. She has printed exhibitions for international artists, conducts printing, photogram and portfolio workshops in her darkroom in Berlin, and she is for hire to do B&W analog portraiture.
Parallel to her commissioned work, she’s been diligently creating her own photographic works of art. Recently, she has participated in several exhibitions, and her works can be found in different art collections such as that of the Ritz Carlton Hotel Budapest and in private collections in New York, Paris, Hong-Kong, Berlin, and Budapest.
Marcus’ work ranges from the purely orchestral through electronic music and audiovisual work. He had worked with the Swedish Royal Ballet, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Sinfonietta Cracovia, as well as numerous other orchestras, ensembles and soloists, independent record labels, artists and filmmakers.
Fjellström studied composition and orchestration at the School of Music in Piteå, Sweden, graduating with honors in 2005. One month after graduation his debut full-length album “Exercises in Estrangement” was released by Lampse Audiovisual Recordings to enthusiastic reviews. The following year his second album “Gebrauchsmusik” was released by the same label, and in 2010 the album “Schattenspieler” was released by Miasmah Recordings.
Recent projects include the audiovisual chamber opera “Boris Christ”, in collaboration with Norrbotten NEO, the symphonic dance piece “AGAIN”, in collaboration with choreographer Ina Christel Johannessen and NorrlandsOperan, “Epilogue -M-“, EP release including visual art by artist/designer Bas Mantel, “Skelektikon”, a new EP release, and scoring the music for the AMC series “The Terror”.
The former Wasserspeicher in Prenzlauer Berg is an extraordinary structure, dazzling audiences with its underground arcades and aging red brick textures. Over the years, this unique place has been hosting various performances and installations of sound, light and video.
The excellent acoustics of the space, coupled with its unique underground scenery of a circular structure, makes it a perfect venue for this particular show. As the spectator stands at the centre of the space, surrounded by the imagery and the multi-directional sound, a fully immersive atmosphere is created which in turn helps to bring the demons to life.