Swedish artist Erik Bünger performs “The Girl Who Never Was” in the Skaftfell gallery.
In 2008 an American researcher rediscovers the lost traces of the first recorded voice ever: the 148-old voice of a little girl singing the French lullaby “Au Clair de la Lune”. One year later another researcher experiments with the playback speed and manages to prove that what the fragment actually contains, is the voice of a full-grown man. This exact same lullaby is the song sung by the artificial intelligence HAL in the French version of Stanley Kubrick’s ”2001 A Space Odyssey”. As HAL dies his voice performs precisely the same glissando as the voice of the non-existent girl: a high-strung, insistent voice is gradually slowed down into a deep, sleepy and harmless one. Erik Bünger’s new performance work takes us on a winding trip through history. A history where a voice echoes forwards and backwards through time, retroactively changing history and changing the present from the vantage point of the past. The more we try to shut her out, the more persistent her song becomes.
Erik Bünger is a Swedish artist, composer and writer living in Berlin. His work revolves around the human voice and its contradictory relationship to the body, to language, to music and to technology. The voice is not addressed as a phenomenon, which gives rise to personal, human presence and interpersonal communication but rather as the very thing that allows something other, radically inhuman, to enter and take control of the human body.
The project is supported by the: