Anri Sala’s public art installation The Last Resort is a sculpture and sound installation the French-Albanian artist has created for the 33rd Kaldor Public Art Project. Installed inside the historic Rotunda on Observatory Hill in Sydney, Australia, the visitors not only have a great view from the most elevated point in the city, but also experience 38 custom-built snare drums that have been upturned and suspended from the Rotunda’s ceiling. Within each drum, an orchestral recording is played through hidden speakers. The musical track, a new variation on Mozart’s 1791 Clarinet Concerto in A Major, reverberates inside the drums to trigger their kinetic response. Thus it creates a dialogue between the past and present compositions, live and recorded sound.
Anri Sala: The Last Resort (Oct. 13 – Nov. 5, 2017) / Kaldor Public Art Projects, Sydney. The Rotunda, Observatory Hill, Sydney (Australia), October 30, 2017.
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Celebrated French-Albanian artist Anri Sala has created an innovative new installation of sculpture and sound for the 33rd Kaldor Public Art Project, which has been developed over three years ahead of its world-premiere in Sydney. The Last Resort is co-presented with Art & About Sydney.
Sala’s project will transform the Observatory Hill Rotunda, a site with expansive views from the most elevated point in the city. Audiences will be invited to step beneath a gravity-defying ensemble of custom-built drums, to experience their rhythmic, live response to a contemporary interpretation of a Mozart Concerto. Set against the sights and sounds of the harbour below, this musical dialogue animates the relationship between sound, place, time and history on this evocative site. These themes will form the basis of a vibrant suite of public programs presented during the project in partnership with the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences.
For The Last Resort Sala has reimagined Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto in A Major, a seminal piece from the Western canon and a musical expression of the European Enlightenment. Mozart’s score is upended, as if it were a message in a bottle carried from Europe across the ocean to Australia, affected by wind and waves. This abstraction of the score’s structure expresses the way shifts of location, time and perspective alter meaning.
Sala has achieved international acclaim for his works, which explore themes of loss and language, as well as the relationship between sound, space and architecture. These themes have been expressed through poetic video works, live performance and recordings, sculptures and installation. In recent works Sala has explored the complex interplay between live and recorded musical compositions.