8 September – 8 October 2017

THORA DOLVEN BALKE: All that respires, conspires

Opening: Friday 8 September 2017
Exhibition: 8 September – 8 October 2017

Collaborators: Erik Balke, Dominic Barter, Sandra Benites, Camilla Rocha Campos, Henning Christiansen’s Archive, Ian Erickson-Kery, Trine Falch, Dr. Karl-Heinz Frommolt, Milford Graves, Gaby Hartel, Klein, Marssares, Musa Michelle Mattiuzzi, Amilcar Packer, and Naee Roberts (Sandra Mujinga).

All that respires, conspires
is a large, collaborative sound-lead project. Organized by artist and curator Thora Dolven Balke (1982, NO, based in Rio de Janeiro and Lofoten) it is created with a long list of contributors reflecting on the act of conspiring from varying disciplines including natural science, social activism, justice, performance, medical research, and music.

While the larger project encompasses events, listening session, and an online radio series, the exhibition at UKS forms the physical manifestation of Balke’s proliferating inquiry into what it means to “conspire.” Combining interviews, field recordings, archival footage, and commissioned compositions from Brazil, Norway, Germany, the UK, and the US, the exhibition functions as digressing annotations to the artist’s growing sound material compiled and edited over the last 18th months.

Etymologically to “conspire” comes from Latin “con” + “spirare”: to breathe together which can also be understood as acting in harmony. All that respires, conspires takes this idea of a “shared breath” or “communal utterance” as a starting point for questioning both potential prospects and problems inherent to conspiring, obviously traditionally shows the creation of alliances by corrupt, dark powers. Commenced during her year-long artistic residency in Brazil, at the exact moment when the president, Dilma Rousseff, was impeached and removed due to allegations of corruption, Balke traces different meanings of the act of conspiring by looking, for instance, at the latent subversive effects of gossip, the strong effects of collectively transported body rhythms or breath, and the empowerment of minority groups through tribal languages.

Questioning the collective sonic activity of conspiring, different contributors discuss what it is to transmit meaning by way of instinct and sensitivity, communication and synchronicity—from a seminar with focus of possibilities of bodies and citizenship governed by conspirators to Milford Graves’ compositional studies into the human heartbeat and Erik Balke’s practice of free improvisation while circular breathing techniques.


On Friday 8 September at 10.30pm audience members are invited to Kunstnernes Hus for a live performance and visuals by NaEE RoBErts — one of artist and musician Sandra Mujinga’s (NO) many aliases — and a concert by producer and performer Klein (UK), who will be presenting an eclectic mix of gospel-inspired vocals, obscure Nigerian B-Movies, and piano loops clattered into jagged beats.

Further programed events include an artist talk on Sunday 10 September at 2pm at UKS by Thora Dolven Balke talking about the development of this project, as well as a listening session broadcasting the radio series — that will also be available online—at Sentralen on Tuesday 12 September at 7pm.


Images from Thora Dolven Balke’s exhibition at UKS

Images from the opening of “All that respires, conspires”. Photo: Jan Khür

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