Best to the Best

sound sculpture and a week-long performance
TIFA Working Studios, Pune, India, February 2015

Best to the Best is a week-long, construction performance and a concert, collecting sounds of construction equipment as well as other equipment used by a developer outside a historic building, where a supermarket was being built at the time.

The sculpture produced for the TIFA at its space emerged as a result of working with students of architecture from Pune, India. In the course of their studies, they learn how to construct with the use of traditional methods, but only theoretically. Testing their knowledge in practice for the first time, they played a week-long concert built from noises of tools used for matter formation. The very act of earth compaction by hand with the help of traditional construction equipment became a ritual trance. A visual-sound performance emerged, in a micro-room installed in a pre-existing room – viewers could observe the builders only from one side, while hearing them throughout the entire space and beyond, as the acoustics of the rooms additionally amplified the sound of the manual activity within.

An intentional erecting of a mud structure, built with the use of traditional, regional techniques, as an obstacle to the building entrance, questioned fundamental concepts of what space and architecture can offer. The work rejected conceptions of space as a purely visual dimension, and approached sound as an extension of a sensual experience of architecture. The act of performed labour connected the significance of the interior and the exterior. Sound and movement of physical labourers filled the previously empty space, creating a claustrophobic sensation, but they also symbolically opened up a dialogue, staging an act of territorial menace.

An additional element of the collaboration with students from Pune was evening seminars, lectures and knowledge exchanges on understanding architecture prepared by the artist.