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The Mattress Factory is an artist-centered museum, international residency program and renowned producer and presenter of installation art. We say “yes” to artists, offering time and space to dream and realize projects in our hometown, Pittsburgh, PA. We invite audiences from around the world and around the corner to step inside, immerse and connect with the artistic process.

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Hans Peter Kuhn

Jenseits von Reden and Fünf Hören (Hear Five)

This play is a reflection on the (im)possibility of accepting diversity and the other. The fragmented body of the neoplasm—the fruit of unstable conditions—overcomes barriers, loves and denies itself and others, wanders around, forgetting its profession. It frequently and with pleasure divides, goes through dangerous palpation, questions the possibility of contact with the experience of the other. Poorly brought up but very successful, it invites us to a trans-species transition.

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Chairs and a small, square table stood in the otherwise empty space. The artist walked out, sat down, picked up a pin, and held it over the table in a gesture that requested quiet. Once the audience was completely silent, he dropped the pin. Its clink resounded and echoed throughout the room.

Kuhn and a colleague seated themselves in a pair of ordinary chairs. Each shift in position caused their chairs, rigged with microphones, to broadcast every squeak and groan.

Audio equipment hung from the ceiling. With a tape recorder and synthesizer, Kuhn experimented with ordinary sounds - hand clapping, throat clearing, repetitions, and alterations of syllables. He rearranged the noises, played them, and talked back and forth with the equipment and himself.

Artist Statement

Both of the performances are about listening. The audience has to realize that they have got ears. There is always sound. It is very difficult to be quiet. But ugly sounds can also be nice if one tries to really listen to them.

When

1987

About The Artist

Hans Peter Kuhn (German, b. 1952) is a Berlin-based artist and composer who creates large-scale, site-specific light and sound environments for public spaces, museums, theater, and dance. Kuhn’s work has been exhibited at Centre Pompidou, Paris; MoMA PS1, New York; Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin; the Venice Biennale; Metropolitan Opera, New York; Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York; ICA, London; and Museum of Fine Arts Boston, among many others. Kuhn was awarded the prestigious Golden Lion at the 1993 Venice Biennal for Memory/Loss, his collaborative installation with theater director and playwright Robert Wilson.

Chairs and a small, square table stood in the otherwise empty space. The artist walked out, sat down, picked up a pin, and held it over the table in a gesture that requested quiet. Once the audience was completely silent, he dropped the pin. Its clink resounded and echoed throughout the room.

Kuhn and a colleague seated themselves in a pair of ordinary chairs. Each shift in position caused their chairs, rigged with microphones, to broadcast every squeak and groan.

Audio equipment hung from the ceiling. With a tape recorder and synthesizer, Kuhn experimented with ordinary sounds - hand clapping, throat clearing, repetitions, and alterations of syllables. He rearranged the noises, played them, and talked back and forth with the equipment and himself.

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