NEOS 11417CD NEOS 11417CD

Claus-Steffen Mahnkopf: "Two central themes of my artistic work are the fate of Judaism and the disasters of the 20th century. The word 'void' denotes emptiness, but also a gap. This idea has preoccupied me since 2000, when I became acquainted with the Jewish Museum in Berlin (still empty at the time), built by Daniel Libeskind; his architecture immediately captivated me, and I have repeatedly engaged with it to this day. Libeskind filled the building with vertical rooms that are simply empty and thus unusable -- for a functional building in the strict sense, they are dysfunctional. They symbolize something absent: the European Jews, who not least enriched Berlin life until the Nazi regime came to power. Libeskind is a master of absences and losses, as his recent 9/11 Memorial in New York demonstrates. Upon my first visit to the Jewish Museum in Berlin I noticed a specific acoustic, especially in the 'Holocaust Tower'. In December 2002 I visited the museum to record sounds there and in one of the 'Voids', where Menashe Kadishman's installation Fallen Leaves was located. I subsequently worked with these recordings at the Experimentalstudio des SWR in Freiburg, resulting in the spatial composition void - mal d'archive. Except for a few oboe notes, the work is a form of musique concrete. It is for 8 loudspeakers, and develops a spatial landscape in which these sounds are used to tell a story whose concretion each listener must conceive for themselves. mal d'archive is the title of a book by Jacques Derrida; in this context, it refers to something being inscribed in a gap in the memory." Performed here by Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks conducted by Roland Kluttig, Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart des SWR conducted by Rupert Huber, and EXPERIMENTALSTUDIO des SWR.