Sympathetic Resonance

Solo exhibition
Kunsthalle Osnabrück
March 1 – June 5 2020

“The exhibition invites the visitors to an expansion of perspective by drawing attention to the fact that what we tend to regard as an object is always a subject too. Composed as a non- linear place of experience, all individual works in the exhibition correlate with each other. Time and cycle are recurring elements in the entire exhibition and giving becomes a central gesture of it. What can one give to others? How can one change the direction of time? How does a room change, how does a city change, when offered a room that is contineously filled with people getting together to sing, alone, with friends, with strangers alike? What is the connective tissue of life?


Prior to the opening of Sympathetic Resonance Ayumi Paul already made the Kunsthalle Osnabrück sound by installing The Singing Project for one year. Women regularly met with Ayumi Paul to practice free singing. A polyphonic, fluid sound sculpture emerged from the joint project. For the duration of the exhibition, The Singing Project transforms the nave of the Kunsthalle Osnabrück into a continuously singing place, inviting all visitors to listen and sing along.

The exhibition begins with a folded letter to every visitor in which the artist shares stories, thoughts and dreams about each exhibited work. Created as a gift ritual, each folding line represents one breath of hers.
The installation Für Frieda consists of tatami mats made of dried grass. While lying down, one listens to Partita No. 2 by Johann Sebastian Bach. The artist had been practicing this music for 25 years and on the recording plays it to her 86-year-old grandmother, whom until then has never heard her play the violin before.

The same Partita No. 2 was engraved in real time in a lacquer plate in I was here, 20.02.2020. As in an archive, Ayumi Paul’s entire practice experience and time is encoded within that plate. The negative of the recording, a lacquer cord of 678 meters, is exhibited alongside an installation of scores of Johann Sebastian Bach´s  music which the artist copied by hand, together with a 240 Million year old trunk of fossilized fern. 

From a series of video works, Earth Rhythms (Yellow Planetary Human) is shown in which the artist plays in the jungle in Mexico in alignment with the passage of time and the rhythm of earth turning.

The tone C sharp, which corresponds to the yearly movement of the earth around the sun, is made sound in a frequency audible for humans through the maple sound sculpture with the title Unisono. The wooden sound body becomes the carrier of this sound and will change over the duration of the exhibition due to the regularly tuned vibrations.
The radio play I look at the flower – the flower looks at me is part of the exhibition too and is accessable at all times through the website of the Kunsthalle Osnabrück.”

(Text: Kunsthalle Osnabrück)


Sympathetic Resonance is the first institutional solo exhibition of the artist in Germany and was curated by Dr. Julia Draganović and Christel Schulte.

The exhibition was funded by the Niedersächsisches Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Kultur and the Felicitas und Werner Egerland Stiftung. The Kunsthalle Osnabrück is supported by the Association of Freunde der Kunsthalle Osnabrück e. V.

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