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1000 WORDS: ANRI SALA

Anri Sala, The Present Moment, 2014, HD digital video (color, sound, 21 minutes 30 seconds), nineteen-channel sound installation. Installation view, Haus der Kunst, Munich. Photo: Jens Webber.

FOR ANRI SALA, sound has always functioned as both an expressive medium and a register of memory, hauntingly subject to erasure. In the work for which Sala first garnered acclaim, the 1998 video Intervista, silence is the sensory analogue of historical amnesia, a condition the artist seeks to reverse, specifically by trying to find, and later re-creating, the lost sound track of a reel of 16-mm footage showing his mother speaking at an Albanian Communist rally, circa 1977. Since then, the artist has produced a series of videos in which sound becomes a means through which to investigate the relationships between past and present, place and displacement. In Naturalmystic (Tomahawk #2), 2002, an actor from Belgrade sits in a Paris recording studio, vocally simulating the sound of missiles falling on Serbia’s capital during NATO’s 1999 bombardment, as if to articulate trauma’s repetition

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