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HELICOTREMA: listening the art noise


On last Friday, June 15th, at Serra dei Giardini in Venice (the old Biennale Glasshouse) took place an audio recorded festival called Helicotrema. Organized by a Venice-based art collective named Blauer Hase, this three days long event tried to make people aware of a different art practice that involves sounds and noises. Supported by a partnership with Bevilacqua La Masa Foundation embodied by the curator Stefano Coletto who guided interviews to the artists and recording introduction, the public had the chance to have a completely new experience.
In the gorgeous scenery of the Glasshouse garden, with a still frame projected on the wall and many blankets on the grass for the audience, five recorded pieces had been transmitted for an hour, five sound tracks completely different amongst and coming from several part of the world. That night the entire performance had been named “Finestra Ovalis” and the playlist was:

-Luigi Squarzina- “Il pantografo” (the pantograph) 1959: an abstract of a previous work by this famous Italian theater and cinema director based on Neorealism and Tragic condition of the common human being.

-Giulio Squillacciotti- “Sul Museo, Venezia e la responsabilità estetica. Appunti veneziani per un film su Carlo Scarpa e le sue Gallerie dell’Accademia “ (About Venice and the aesthetical responsibility. Venetian notes for a movie on Carlo Scarpa and Gallerie dell’Accademia) 2012: abstract of a dinner dialogue recorded in the sly about the beauty and the waste of the cultural heritage. The voyeurism factor made people pretty attentive on this part..

-Elisa Strinna- “L’uomo osservato dal cotone” (the man seen by the cotton) 2012: a 10 minutes long record reporting heavy and painful words of a slave. This piece had been prepared by an ex-resident artist at Bevilaqua La Masa Atelier on Giudecca Island 2009.

-Raqs Media Collective, “The bus stop”, 2010: a brief series of Korean city dialogues in which the same scene had been reported by a different character involved.  Little hard to follow this registration even with the English written translation in your hands..

-Hildegard Westerkamp, “Mother Voice Talk”, 2008: this English/Japanese track was about a man and his native land background, family and so on.. without written translation it was little difficult to follow it.


Beyond the unease of not understanding some part of the transmission, the starting up idea of Helicotrema is original, innovative and catchy. Sound performance are usually underestimated and have a three days long festival entirely dedicated is a good signal. For all contemporary art lovers living in Venice this is a big opportunity to keep the mind open to all the possible way to develop and express the arts through different modalities. Sound performances make you close your mind and keep ears and imagination open. All this new festivals, social and cultural events enrich Venice and people ready to invest a Friday night in something different.
Hoping Blauer Hase will organize a second edition, we’ll be all ears till next summer.. starting from daily noises till next summer.

This event has been organized in collaboration with Microclima, Serra dei Giardini, Bevilacqua La Masa Foundation, City of Venice, and Non solo verde Association.

Posted by Lucia Pedrana


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