Monday, October 16, 2006

Private Works

Artist: Nathaniel Mann
Location: Outside the lift on the 2nd floor
Medium: MP3
Presented within the ‘Private:Staff Only’ exhibition at the ICA, ‘Private Works’ offers an entire exhibition of works within it’s own gallery space.

One month in, a work finally breaks it way out of the ‘staff only’ areas, or perhaps it just burrows deeper?

Pop the headphones on and roam.

Camaraderie / Naturaves / Private Space / Patio Interior

“who could resist the invitation of those dainty headphones they gleam in living rooms and entwine themselves around heads all by themselves and instead of fostering cultivated conversation one becomes a playground for noises”
(Kraucher, S. 1995, p.333)

Camaraderie. A continuation (whispering directly into ears), a mantra.

Naturaves. (Madrid’s largest dealer of song-birds is open Saturdays, Sundays & Festivals).

Private Space. Defines the space the viewer inhabits.

Patio Interior. (version 1: homage a presque rien). Scrolling Text accompanies sound recordings.

On sweaty restless nights I lean against this window and listen.

One of three flats on the 2nd floor, with three floors more above; our view is of neighbouring walls. All of the windows of these two adjoining buildings peer down into the same enclosed quad, little more than 4m x 6m and scattered with fallen clothes pegs from the lines that stretch between the window ledges. Below there is just one access point, a dirty doorway that leads to the storeroom of a neighbouring shop.

Summer in Madrid, these windows are permanently flung and will stay that way until the heat recedes in autumn.

Each day I am awoken by the alarms of others, by telephone calls and the clattering of pans, television murmurs, salutations and arguments mingle; concrete walls blend all within soft echoes.

Comes the evening; music from the bar below bleeds upwards, it’s toilet windows back onto the patio releasing all secrets into the space, the same TVs blare against mealtime conversation.

Comes the night, a simple hush, the neighbours below review the day from their bed, descending into regular snores from some room above.

The interior patio is a cavity that exists between our private spaces; it touches on the edges of our private moments; our bedroom conversations, intimacies, fragments of our lives drift into this aperture and intermingle with fragments emerging from the other windows.



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