MERSID RAMIČEVIĆ 2017
Hearing as a Measurement of SpaceWritten by: Irena Borić
Most of us know our everyday rituals so well, that we could do them with our eyes closed. But can we remember, how they sound? Are these sounds internalized to such an extent that our ears register them only as everyday white noise? It seems that the sound of our surroundings never stands out as the main carrier of meaning, unless it is unusual. It gives depth to a situation and it mostly remains imperceptible.
On the contrary, when silence becomes loud, all sound resonate. As in the Jacques Tati film “Mon Oncle”, in which the atmosphere of the mechanized and automatized house is made by deformed sounds and noises. By stressing unusual sounds, which are created as a consequence of moving objects or the movements of people in the house, Tati criticizes the obsession with technology and the alienation which characterize modern society. The acoustic inclusion of already existing, inconspicuous objects and movement allows the possibility to create a new composition of meaning.
Mersid Ramičević, participating artist in the GuestRoomMaribor residency program, is also interested in existing acoustic motives. For the artist, the new geographic location and situation represented an opportunity, which already contained all of the needed acoustic and iconological elements. During his residential stay, he tried to find the relations between captured sounds and symbols, and take over the elements of these relations. Above all, he was searching for contextual sound or, better yet, sound defined by its immediate environment and also containing an aesthetic quality. In his art practice, he is guided by the idea that one doesn’t need to create new sounds, because already existing sounds speak for themselves. Ramičevićs’ approach to music emphasizes another important element − the organization of sound material, which signifies a social structure in the background of the sound being played. For example, we can perceive an instrument as a tool of organizational relations. The way, in which someone holds a violin, says much about the cultural context from which the musician originates.
Although the sounds of life are simple, they are the center of the artist’s attention and because of this the process of creating the composition is more important than the end result. Because during each new creative process, the artist discovers a new way of realization and in this moment the analysis of takes place.
The work Cooling the Music from 2015 is an example of such a composition. The music is object-oriented and in this example the source of the sound was exclusively the refrigerator. This takes us away from the question, whether we like the music, to the question, what is the work about − and the story, in case of Cooling the Music, even if abstract, obviously overcomes aesthetics.
Another example of his work must be mentioned − the 2016 Shoes On, Shoes Off in which he raises the question of the influence of the mosque on the acoustic environment, as minarets are a quite dominant carriers of sound both on the material and symbolic level. Again in this composition the sound, which we hear at the end, is no longer recognizable, because it is manipulated to such a degree that only the author knows its origin.
In the frame of the GuestRoomMaribor residential program, Mersid Ramičević prepared a sound installation titled Aperture, which he performed in Kibla multimedia center. It is the second piece in the editions of the long-term project “Sets of Earshot Topology”, which explores musically informed social choreography. The theme behind the work and the starting point of the artists’ research was Maribor’s lost identity as an industrial city. The artist searched for the remnants of textile industry, which testifies to the lost identity.
Thus it is no surprise that a part of the research process took place under the aegis of the Museum of National Liberation, in which the artist studied aspects of textile industry.
In their collection, he found a weaving machine, which, as a museum artifact, is not in use. Ramičević temporarily transformed it into a functional object and recorded it. Its sound reminds us of its lost function Various textile patterns were also a part of the research, which he found interesting because of elements such as inversion or repetition, which are characteristic both for visual practices and music. In the new composition, there is also a sound of church bells, which are quite loudly present in the sleepy town.
The transfer of image into sound and sound into image marks the research process as a created work. The sound composition Aperture, the title of which means the opening in an optical device, aligns precisely this − the sounds and images of the perceived environment.