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Hale Tenger

Do stones feel sorrow? Do they hum?

They do in Hummings, KØS Museum of Art in Public Spaces’ upcoming exhibition, that will take over the city of Køge and its surrounding landscape this summer.

Humming refers to a wide range of phenomena: from the noise produced by machines to the sound of gas oozing through the tectonic layers of the Earth or to the mating call of a male Midshipman fish in the ocean. Hummings offers us a chance to imagine a language connecting all beings, animate or inanimate.

Hummings is the pilot edition of a new international exhibition series of art in the public domain in Denmark. Juxtaposing fiction and poetry with the urban and rural geography of Køge, Hummings present 25 art projects and events by national and international artists, writers, and thinkers. The exhibition includes, reading sessions, talks, walks, performances, architectural and sculptural interventions, workshops, as well as video and sound works and installations by leading artists of art in the public domain. The list of participating artists will be unveiled gradually from now and until August.

Hummings is about plurality of voices; a metaphorical device to reflect on the possibility of voicing the invisible, silent, unpriviledged, repressed or vulnerable for a “Collaborative Survival” as the American anthropologist Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing refers to it. It is a call to attend to what is happening unnoticed in front of our eyes, the unreckoned, the yet-to-be or in-between states of becoming, thus, to conceive and be liable for what is appearing on the horizon, though not visible nor legible, yet.

Indicating indistinctive sounds and expressions referring to a pre-language state, which we cannot define and understand clearly, humming can be considered a common thread between human beings and "other-than-human-persons”, thus, can serve as a beginning to think over the interspecies relationship.

Informed by recent research in microbiology and anthropology to social sciences and environmental studies, the exhibition seeks to cultivate an experience in the junction of these separate scientific fields and contemporary art. Hummings will be a site where fiction and reality, animate and inanimate, culture and nature, science and belief, past and future, advanced and regressed, self and the (absolute) other melt into one another and merge. Instead of a progressive understanding of time and the dominant knowledge-production regimes, the exhibition suggests suspending our usual understanding of the relationship between such dualities, and proposes an interwovenness with many possible worlds, focusing on contingencies and entanglements.

Furthermore, the exhibition will comment on the present manifestations of art in public domain, attempting to connect its history with the current debates towards its future incarnations.

Hummings is co-curated by KØS curator Fulya Erdemci and KØS director Ulrikke Neergaard.

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