Installation Fundaçao de Serralves, Porto, Portugal
for Liminares/Threshold , June-August 1995
The Fundaçao de Serralves is a contemporary art museum located in Portugal’s second largest city. The building is a (former) Art Deco mansion located on large formal gardens. A river runs south of the Foundation, and the sea can be seen looking directly west from the second floor. The interior portion of H)ear(Dis located in a second floor sitting room. This room has two windows, one to the north, the other directly west. Two wooden benches were created for the room and the windows were tinted a light, sky blue color. On the south wall is a black marble fireplace surrounded by mirror. Two microphones were placed on the balcony. These microphones connected to a mixing unit that split the sound between “dry” and “wet”. The “wet” sound was run through a digital sound processor, back through the mixer and on to an amplifier and speakers (with subwoofer, located inside the fireplace). The longitudinal wooden bench was inscribed with the words RIO and RIVER. The short bench was inscribed with the words OCEANO and OCEAN. Live sound filled the space. The sound processor allowed the sound to “pan” from the back of the room to the front. If one sat in the RIO bench, the sound seemed to rush out of the room, westward. If one sat at the OCEANO bench, then the sound seemed to “crash” at the west end of the room, as one looked out across the gardens to the sea.
By following line of sight past the formal garden, one entered a valley with an English romantic style lake. A small boat was anchored in the middle of the pea green water. Backward and upside down text was printed on the boat. The text was readable in the surface of the water.
“ANCHORED, CONSCIOUS, GATHERING WAKEFULLNESS
INTO STILLNESS, SO THE SHUDDER OF LEAVES POUND LIKE THE SEA.”