Ulysses Syndrome by Soundwalk Collective is an exhibition produced by Fantom, curated by Massimo Torrigiani, designed by Luca Cipelletti, presented by the Italian Cultural Institute in Tunis as part of the programme “Italy, Cultures, the Mediterranean” of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. An installation of sound and lights, which premiered in Palermo as part of the collateral events of Manifesta 12, and will be then set up in Beirut. From September 28th to November 4th, 2018, it will inhabit the Petit Palais of the Bardo National Museum, in Tunis, one of the most ancient museums in the Arab world and Africa.
A soundscape of the Mediterranean basin, composed by retracing Ulysses’ journey from Troy to Ithaca. A vastness of fragments songs harmonies: a choir, an audible entropy. Sailing for over two months across the coasts of the Middle East, Italy, Northern Africa and Southern Europe, equipped with scanners, aerial antennae and recorders, Soundwalk Collective intercepted a technological, augmented hearing, accidental overlaps of noises, music and voices, private conversations and service communications, bouncing back and forth between boats, ships and the coast. They listened to these recordings again in their studio, in order to grasp the sense of each sound, of each trace, of each diaphony: hints of stories, slices of worlds, letting themselves be led to what turned out to be an état des lieux of the Mediterranean basin. The result is a musical map in continuous rearrangement, a polyphonic installation, the reflection of a sound archive.
The Bardo National Museum, in Tunis, welcomes this phonography in the Petit Palais (or ‘Arab Palace’), the ancient wing of the palace – built following the traditional architectural style under Hussein II Bey’s reign (1824-1835) –, home to the collections of traditions and crafts. Among the most ancient museums in the Arab world and Africa, the Bardo preserves the history of the civilizations which followed one another in the Mediterranean basin and in the African territories since their origins, weaving a thread between prehistory and the contemporary world. Between national and collective identity, diversity and integration. The heritage of history, shielded in the rooms of the Museum, merges with the voices and sounds which have accompanied, and accompany, its existence, in a profound and timeless wandering into the journey of humanity.
The exhibition series started in Palermo in June 2018 as part of Manifesta 12, with the support of the French Embassy in Italy, the Institut français, the Fondazione Nuovi Mecenati – French-Italian Foundation for the support of contemporary arts, and with the patronage of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. After Tunis, Ulysses Syndrome will be installed in Beirut thanks to the support of the local Italian Cultural Institute.
Read more about Ulysses Syndrome in Palermo.
The approach to composition of Soundwalk Collective (Stephan Crasneanscki, Simone Merli, and Kamran Sadeghi) combines ethnography, non-linear narrative, psychogeography, the observation of nature, and explorations in recording and synthesis, often carried out in collaboration with other artists, musicians, and writers. The source material of their works is always linked to specific locations, natural or artificial, and requires long periods of investigative travel and field work. Resulting in albums, sound installations and live performances.