Jacob Kirkegaard – Sound-in-itself as a political statement (interview)

Feature June 8 2015 recordingStigma_TakashiArai

Interview by Jockel Liess and Mette Slot Johnsen – photo: Katinka Fogh Vindelev, Takashi Arai and Jacob Kirkegaard

Jacob Kirkegaard has just come back from a last visit to his first major solo exhibition at Roskilde Museum of Contemporary Art, “Earside Out”. An exhibition which displayed Kirkegaard’s work as a sound artist, although his body of work spreads into field recordings, film sound, photography as well as producing and creating experimental music. “Earside Out” garnered much interest and Kirkegaard’s parting gesture was to give a talk in the local library, very much preaching to the unconverted. It sounds like hard work, but Kirkegaard seems to enjoy precisely this, and very much prefers it to being idle.

Our conversation with Kirkegaard starts by discussing “Earside Out”. In relation to the exhibition he states that the biggest challenge in presenting his sound installations to new audiences is to engage them to the point where “the audiences really listen, and not cover their ears when presented with the previously unheard”. He aims to keep the audience receptive. “In a way with art it is the same way as in all aspects of life. If you meet someone new you don’t want to close them up. You want to say what you have to say without losing or offending them immediately. The important point is to strike a balance between provocation and keeping your audience with you.”

Even so Kirkegaard doesn’t want to spell out or oversimplify his aims, he tries “to create works that are open to how you understand or grasp them, thereby leaving the audience to be free and have space to give their own interpretation.” To illustrate this he quotes John Cage: “I like to be moved, but I don’t like to be pushed”. Læs resten