Reek eek mmm rk rotten, 2022
Vinyl on windows, 18 panels each, 150.5 cm x 85 cm and 3 panels, each 142 cm x 76.5 cm
The Wake, 2022
Hillside Projects & Jonas Holmer. 9-channel sound installation, 35 min loop
Commissioned by Röda Sten Konsthall
Vultures are purifiers. They are disposers of the dead and eat what others cannot. Vultures and humans have a long record of living in symbiosis. Vultures are scavengers, and consume carcasses before they decay, quickly removing bacteria and other poisons from spreading. Vultures are the environment’s unsung heroes.
Reek eek mmm rk rotten and The Wake are two joined installations about the poetics of being eaten. Nine speakers, placed in an organic shape, play the sound of feeding vultures, sounds collected from Youtube and sound banks. Using an equaliser, the sounds have been amplified to create a musical scale based on the harmonic series in Indian raga music. Each speaker plays a different harmony, low or high, and is experienced as a fragment or a whole depending on where the viewer stands. The arrangement of the speakers imitates “a wake of vultures”, referring to a group of vultures feeding, thus its title, The Wake.
Reek eek mmm rk rotten is a text work that onomatopoetically* narrates a feast on the dead. Created specifically for the space referred to as the Cathedral at Röda Sten Konsthall, it references stained glass church windows and aims to enhance the beauty of the space and the narrative being told. Reek eek mmm rk rotten was written through actively listening and transcribing a more than humans’ feast. It is also a consideration of an alternative death care service* and the ecological cycle of being eaten and eating.
* An onomatopoeia is a word that phonetically imitates, resembles, or suggests the sound that it describes.
** Cultures and religions use vultures for their funeral rites, such as the Zoroastrians or Tibetans, laying their dead out to be eaten as a last sacrifice or, more importantly, making the act of dying part of an ecological cycle.
The Wake & Reek eek mmm rk rotten were shown as part of the exhibition dhak dhak ho-hum ah eekff iii ie at Röda Sten Konsthall, 2022, curated by Amila Puzić & Mia Christersdotter Norman.