Diaphonics, the first solo exhibition of Andrius Arutiunian in the UK. The show borrows its title from a musical term indicating both a doctrine of refracted sound and diaphony – “a parallel search of voices”, a form of harmony where voices move in parallel motion. The exhibition departs from Arutiunian’s research on vernacular knowledge, political peripheries and mysticism. As an investigation into the politicized narratives of what we hear as being “in tune”, it studies the notions of dissonance, tuning, and sonic dissent.
Diaphonics unfolds as an interplay of three sound and video works. For ‘You Do Not Remember Yourself’ Arutiunian manufactured a new musical instrument. Made out of brass, the six-meter-long object amplifies and distorts its sounds calling for an expanded reading of resonance.
In Do Not Fear, Then! voices incant an improvised score of ancient Armenian spells. Survived through a secret argot, these spells were used by the felt-beating artisans of the city of Moks to alter the states of reality. Working together with four singers, Arutiunian recorded the verses in multiple intonations and transfigurations, compiling a speculative sonic lexicon of apotropaic magic.
The new video work captures a spontaneous night scene; bodies assemble and attune to the rhythm of a nocturnal techno track. Noises, smoke, voices and parallel movements are all present at this illegal gathering.
The project is supported using public funding by Arts Council England and by funding by the Lithuanian Culture Institute and it is organised and curated by Rafailia Thiraiou, Alicja Kaczmarek and Richard Short.
About the artist:
Andrius Arutiunian (b.1991) is an Armenian-Lithuanian artist and composer based in Paris and The Hague. Arutiunian works with hybrid forms of sound through objects, installations and performances. Alternate modes of political and musical organisation, sonic dissent, and playful investigation of esoteric and vernacular histories form Arutiunian’s most recent works. Through aural cosmologies, non-western tuning systems, and the use of resonance and speculative instruments, Arutiunian works with sound as a world-ordering method.