Anri Sala

Answer Me, 2008

Anri Sala
Answer Me
Dimensions and medium
HD video, stereo sound, 4 min 51 s, 3/6
Artwork description
Answer Me is a video installation that explores the sound properties of a geodesic dome in West Berlin that was used as a listening station by the National Security Agency of the United States during the Cold War. Designed by the legendary American architect Buckminster Fuller, the unique, monumental architecture of this abandoned site produces a vast and lasting echo, an effect Anri Sala capitalized on to stage the breakdown of a romantic relationship. The idea was inspired by the Italian director Michelangelo Antonioni, who once wrote that he had wanted to film a couple’s breakup by capturing the silence, rather than the conversation, between a man and a woman. In Sala’s piece, a woman’s repeated plea, “Answer me,” fails to reach a man playing drums. Suggesting an impossible dialogue, the narrative framework, composed of the site’s inherent resonance, acoustic vibrations, and sound frequencies, expresses the hostile degeneration of a relationship and the fracturing of space and time.

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