Frankfurt Am Main, Berlin
For ART-O-RAMA, Marseilles, Frankfurt am Main is pleased to present a solo presentation by Grayson Revoir (b. 1983, Alameda, CA, USA).
The project focuses on the Berliner Zimmer as the main conceptual point.
The Berliner Zimmer is a characteristic of upper-class apartments common to Berlin in late 19th, early 20th century and it was used as a space to entertain guests and play music. This particular room was originally designed by architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel as a connecting corridor between the front living room and the back wing occupied by the servants.
After the war, many large apartments were cut up into smaller flats and this particular room became an entity of its own – an oddly shaped and dimly lit living quarter.
For ART-O-RAMA Grayson Revoir creates an inclusive installation recalling the idea of the Berliner Zimmer. Within this transparent closed space, he presents two sculptures made of brass depicting an archetype of the birdcage. Inside each of these brass structures a sound system is embedded, playing an audio composition of intermittent sounds as if a radio was left on.
The absence of the birds is substituted by the presence of speakers. The bird cages are not used as mere domestic and decorative elements, but recall the specific function which their inhabitants had during the time of the Berliner Zimmer. At the turn of century, coal miners would travel into their mining tunnels with Canaries in cages as a safety measure warning them of dangerously high levels of carbon monoxide leaked from the earth. The miners relied on these animals as a life-line, an example of humans utilising another species as a form of alarm.
Here this function of the birdcage is connected to ideas of entertainment and warning. A link between nature and architecture that communicates a conforming noise of existence.