Toni Meštrović: Interleaving, close-circuit audio installation

2.9.–24.9.2022., MMC KIBLA / KiBela, Ulica kneza Koclja 9, Maribor

With this exhibition, the artist continues his artistic exploration of the surveillance system, which he started 5 years ago, questioning its creative potentials in the context of increasing social control. The appropriation of the closed-circle structure characteristic of video surveillance allows him to explore the relationship between sound and image. Unlike his previous works, in which he used surveillance cameras, the exhibition in Maribor will focus exclusively on the medium of sound. Seven directional loudspeakers arranged in two closed circles, one of which is inserted into the other, emit sound received from the surroundings via a microphone, creating the conditions for a sound experience that preserves the acoustic feedback. The work is part of a series of experiments where, despite the technical stability of the installation, the outcome is unpredictable.

Artist’s statement »Based on my previous work Surveilling Surveillance (Salon Galić, Split, Croatia 2020), in which I examined the topic of general surveillance, with which privacy is sacrificed in order to achieve a greater ‘security’ of citizens, I experiment with analog video/audio technologies used for the surveillance and control of citizens for art purposes. This time, I abstract the video and linger only on the sound aspect. As opposed to my previous work, in which four directional microphones and loudspeakers were used in one closed circuit, here, six directional microphones and seven directional ultrasound panels are used in two closed circuits. The circles overlap and form an interleaved circle within a circle. The system is self-sufficient and does not depend on the interaction with the audience. The sound manifestation of the closed circuits is uncertain and unknown until the microphone-loudspeaker system is placed in a specific space. The presupposition is that an ultrasound microphonics will emerge, which will be neutralized by the sounds provoked outside the setup system. It is uncertain how the interaction between the audience and the system will manifest. The space remains visually bare; it contains only microphones on stands, audio mixers, loudspeaker panels on the walls, and cables running across it. What fills the space is invisible – it is sound. Sound in beams forming a geometric drawing. The visitors experience the sound drawing with different intensity, depending on their movement, their entering and exiting the invisible beams of the ultrasound feedback. The light in the space consists of directional spotlights, which are the only visual illustration of the direction in which the sound moves.«

◾️ Toni Meštrović ◾️ (b. 1973, Split, Croatia) is a multimedia artist working predominantly in form of video and sound installations. He graduated with a Graphic Arts degree from the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb in 1999, where he produced graphic arts, sculpture and installation. Due to his interest in electronic audio-visual media, he studied Video/Digital Imaging with prof. Valie Export at the International Summer Academy for Contemporary Art in Salzburg in 1997, and completed a two-year postgraduate diploma in Media Art with prof. David Larcher and prof. Anthony Moore at the Academy of Media Arts, Cologne in 2004. Video, sound, and audio-visual installations produced during Meštrović’s postgraduate studies explore his personal perception of the sea, and the island where he grew up. After his return to Croatia in 2004, his work deals with themes of cultural heritage, identity, and the transformations that have occurred in Dalmatia due to the period of transition. Some of his continuous thematic preoccupations are the assimilation of the linear and cyclical time and the exhaustion of a type of narrative that we are used to and expect in our quotidian lives, as well as a wide range of the topic of change, either as a record of evaporation of water like in a closed circuit video installation, or as a commentary of social change. Since 1992, he has taken part in group and solo shows, as well as video festivals, in Croatia and internationally. He has been awarded scholarships and awards, such as the Young Artist Award by the Croatian Artist Association and the Second Prize at the T-HTaward@MSU.hr exhibition in 2013. He lives and works in Rijeka and Kaštela, Croatia, and is an Associate Professor at the Arts Academy University of Split, Department of Film and Video.

Curator: Sabina Salamon

Link on curator’s text: Interleaving ENG Mestrovic_Sabina Salamon

More: https://bit.ly/3pK6DJ5

Photo: Toni Meštrović.

Admission is free.

Opening hours: Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Organizers: MMSU, Rijeka; KIBLA, Maribor