Resonance 1 is the first part of a double publication looking at ideas around resonance – a theme we were working with throughout 2019/20. See Resonance 2.
In his essay Stations: A Brief Diary of a Long Concern Gareth Evans writes from a body of work by Berlin-based photographer Karen Stuke commissioned by The Wapping Project in 2013 for one of the final exhibitions within the Boiler House and the Coal Store at the Wapping Hydraulic Power Station. In the heat of the hottest day recorded to date in the UK, Gareth creates a text in fragments, weaving lines found online searching for ‘Sebald Austerlitz resonance’ with overheard voices and reflections on language, place, extinction and the state of the world. Every image is a ghost, he writes in the opening.
His essay is interspersed with Karen’s ghostly, large format pinhole images that follow the journey of W.G. Sebald’s Jacques Austerlitz uncovering his forgotten past of a Jewish child brought to the UK on a Kindertransport from Prague. This publication coincided with the opening of Wandelhalle exhibition restaging the 2013 commission at the Kommunale Galerie, Berlin, on the 1 September 2019 – eighty years since the last Kindertransport left Germany on the day when Germany invaded Poland.
La Última Palabra (The Last Word), a short story by Chilean writer Alia Trabucco Zerán, published in the original in Spanish alongside the English translation by Sophie Hughes, looks at the childhood game of resonances and echoes called The Telephone in Chile, The Broken Telephone in Argentina, and Chinese Whisperers in the UK. The story came about from an obsessive image that formed in Alia’s mind – an image of blushing – as a result of thinking about the resounding of words. What is blushing? How come words can cause something as visual as blushing? Is blushing the echo of words in our bodies? Is blushing the result of a word that, all of a sudden, wants to have a physical presence?
The final piece in this volume is Conversing with Resonance by composer, violinist and double recorders player Laura Cannell reflecting on her recent commission – a music album recorded in the Wapping Hydraulic Power Station earlier this year. She conversed with the long reverb, the damp air, the chill and the stories contained within the building.
If I do this, will you fight back?
will you agree?
will you laugh at me?
will you change my pitch?
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