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The Encryption Garden: A sound installation in the Stadel Garden in Frankfurt
Alan B. Brock-Richmond and Bernhard Schreiner © Alan B. Brock-Richmond und Bernhard Schreiner.

FRANKFURT.- Within the framework of the series “In the Städel Garden”, the artists Alan B. Brock-Richmond (b. 1970) and Bernhard Schreiner (b. 1971), both residents of Frankfurt, developed a sound installation: in the summer of 2014, this work adds an acoustic dimension to the entire rear Städel Garden with its distinctive green hill. The four-channel installation Encryption Garden, which is audible in the Städel Garden for the duration of six weeks from 22 July to 31 August, combines previously produced sound montages of recordings made in the Städel Garden with sounds created live during four concerts in that venue. The concerts will serve as a source for the development of a sound installation that will echo in the museum garden throughout the summer, with each concert building on the respective previous phase of the work. In the course of its process-oriented transformation, The Encryption Garden will accordingly become ever denser, ultimately to be deconstructed again in the last concert – an act of Composting that gives the final performance its title.

The work was acoustically ushered in with a concert subtitled Identification Camouflage. Further concerts will be offered on Thursday, 7 August 2014 at 9:00 pm (Overgrowth I), Sunday, 10 August 2014 at 12 noon (Overgrowth II) and, marking the conclusion of the sound installation, Saturday, 30 August 2014 at 8:00 pm (Composting). Within the framework of the Museum Embankment Festival, an additional concert (New Growth) will be presented on Sunday, 31 August 2014 at 12 noon. Admission to the concerts and the Städel Garden are free of charge.

Over the course of its presentation, as it fills the Städel Garden with sound every day for six weeks, The Encryption Garden installation will increasingly combine and superimpose different sounds. On the one hand they will be sounds that arise from the garden’s natural acoustic situation; on the other hand they will result from interventions by the artists, who to this end will almost imperceptibly support and transform the garden’s everyday sounds. The title of the overall work and the subtitles of the individual live concerts reflect the process of a botanical transformation (encryption, camouflage, deception), while at the same time alluding to Brock-Richmond and Schreiner’s artistic and technical method (recording, temporal distance, processing, montage) with which they likewise avail themselves of this transformation. The musicians will thus camouflage and blend their instrumental production with the acoustic texture of the place; the found ambient noise of the garden will merge with the sound structures generated live by their instruments. It will be ever more difficult to distinguish between the field recordings and the successively introduced sounds. What is more, it will ultimately no longer be possible to tell which musician was responsible for which sounds. The progressive sound processing will accordingly resemble an organic process of overgrowth as chance occurrences and targeted intervention mutually enhance one another.

Alan B. Brock-Richmond (b. in California, USA in 1970) and Bernhard Schreiner (b. in Mödling, Austria in 1971) live in Frankfurt am Main. They have been working together since 2012, and have realized various live concerts – for the Frankfurt Kunstverein, Schauspiel Frankfurt, and the Palmengarten (within the framework of Hélio Oiticica retrospective presented by the MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt am Main), among others.

Alan B. Brock-Richmond studied at Monterey Peninsula College in California, Washington University in Seattle, and with Douglas Gordon at Frankfurt’s Städelschule art academy. His works have been shown at the Portikus in Frankfurt am Main (2012), the Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival (2012), the Transmediale in Berlin (2013), the MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt am Main (2013) and elsewhere.

Bernhard Schreiner studied under Peter Kubelka at the Frankfurt Städelschule from 1991 to 1998. Apart from his own production of documentaries and experimental films, Schreiner has also curated film programmes in Germany, Austria and Italy. The sound collages on the record Rosenkränze: Acht Kompositionen von Thomas Bayrle und Bernhard Schreiner (2009–2012) were the outcome of a three-year collaboration. They were carried out as acoustic elements of Carmageddon (2012), Thomas Bayrle’s kinetic car-engine and windshield-wiper works shown at the dOCUMENTA 13. Schreiner’s works have been exhibited at the Kunsthalle Wien (2006), the KW Institute for Contemporary (2011), the Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich (2011) and other venues.

In the context of the new presentation of its sculpture collection in the Städel Garden, the Städel Museum is offering the series “In the Städel Garden” with various performance and installation works in the grassy areas surrounding the museum buildings. The series was launched in April 2013 with the elaborately staged performance of Watering Hole by the Frankfurt artist Adrian Williams; a further temporary presentation followed in June 2013 with the exhibition of works by Adolf Luther. In September 2014, the “In the Städel Garden” series will continue with works by the sculptor Franz Erhard Walther.

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