Sound installation by Vladislav Shabalin with the voice of Diamanda Galás

The Project

The exhibition in Basel

Opening Sunday 12 June 2011, 8:15 pm
Speakers Rev. Jürg Scheibler and the art historian Judith Schifferle
Sound installation 10 pm

The artistic project “Aquarium” is the result of collaboration between Soviet dissident artist Vladislav Shabalin and Greek-American avant-garde composer, vocalist and pianist Diamanda Galás.

Conceived as a development of the homonymous fossil triptych, the most important work Vladislav Shabalin has realized so far, “Aquarium” will be presented by Forum für Zeitfragen and Art et Léonard in collaboration with Geoworld at St. Leonard’s Church in Basel, Switzerland, from 12 to 19 June.

Inspired by the millions of barrels of oil discharged into the Gulf of Mexico after the incident on BP oil rig, and consisting of three huge stone slabs with over one hundred fish fossils “swimming” on them, the triptych replicates the image of the windows through which, in large aquariums, viewers look at fish of different size and provenance swimming in a pool. Instead of living and colourful fish, here we gaze at monochrome shadows, remnants of a life lost long ago: it is an aquarium of the past but also, ominously, the aquarium of a future of death.

The sound installation aims to plunge visitors into a compelling emotional experience. Every night at 10, Diamanda Galás’ howling and screams that seem to come from the depths of pain if not from beyond the grave, resonate in an aquarium ever, tragically immobile.