Frankfurt gallery Portikus is the host of a sound installation that explores songs associated with the social movements of several cultures. “HUM,” as it’s titled, was designed by Montreal artist Hajra Waheed. Through multiple audio channels, it plays a 36-and-a-half-minute composition featuring a number of singers, speakers and authors.
Waheed originally debued “HUM” at Lahore Biennale 02 in Pakistan towards the beginning of 2020. Playing from 16 overhead speakers, recordings of songs from South, Central and West Asia as well as Africa fill the minimalist space. Hajra told Telekom Electronic Beats that each selection was instrumental in “shaping the sonic memories of social movements across the Global South during the mid-20th century—melodies which are now finding a resurgence on the streets in solidarity struggles today.”
As creative spaces across the globe adapt to restrictions put in place to curb the spread of COVID-19, sound experiences like Waheed’s could pose a solution. With social distancing guidelines making dance floors a difficult prospect, Berghain reopened in a limited capacity last month with a sound installation called “eleven songs – halle am berghain” by artistic duo tamtam.
“HUM” by Hadra Waheed will be housed in Portikus until August 11th, 2020. More information on the exbibition is available here.
Image credit: Diana Pfammatter