Empty streets and deserted city centres – the pandemic has not only had an enormous impact on the image of public space in the past year. The soundscapes of life and our attention to everyday sounds have also changed. We all spend more time at home than ever before. How does the perception of our surroundings change and what sounds and noises does the unfamiliar situation produce?
Last year, the New York artist Natalie Bookchin (*1962) invited us to document the new everyday life in the pandemic through short home videos. Sounds and also one’s own body, which is suddenly perceived differently in one’s own flat, as well as quiet glances out of the window became the central motif of the recordings. The result is an audiovisual portrait of the collective experience of isolation. The multi-channel video installation Geisterspiele (Ghost games) is dedicated to a paradoxical time in which solidarity consists precisely in renouncing public life. The exhibition venue on the tenth floor of a residential tower transforms the questions of public and private life into an immediate and intense experience for the visitors. Above the rooftops of the city of Herne, the film recordings of glimpses out of the window, collected all over the world with the mobile phone – i.e. one of the few possibilities currently available for opening up to the outside world – merge with the real view of the surrounding Ruhr Area landscape.
The installation Geisterspiele was developed as part of the exhibition Ruhr Ding: Klima and was on display from May 22—June 27, 2021 in Herne.