Christof Zwiener

*1972 Osnabrück, lives and works in Berlin

Out of the Blue
Entrances to the Denis Public Defence Shelter, 
Husova and Nádražní Streets  
49.19009, 16.60818
49.19025, 16.60908
Every day 10 am – 6 pm
sound installation/sculpture, active loudspeakers, 
MP3 player, air raid shelter

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Zwiener’s project tests the fragile boundary between the discreet and the unnoticed. Beneath Petrov Hill in Brno there is an extensive network of corridors, built in the first decade after World War II as a civil defence shelter. Its communication with the outside world is ensured by three entry portals located at the foot of the escarpment. Zwiener has selected two of them and placed an installation consisting of a soundtrack and fans; their character and activity cycle refer to the regular breathing rhythm. At first, this act seems to be almost unnoticeable. With every inhale and exhale, however, it acquires more and more urgency, gradually infiltrating the viewer’s mind with a metaphoric idea in which the shelter’s corridors transform into a respiratory tract, and the entire Petrov into one large living organism.
However, a substantial aspect of the entire installation consists of the fact that Zwiener has based the breathing frequency on the unfinished composition Ritornel op. 25 (Deux Ritournelles pour violoncelle et piano) by Vítězslava Kaprálová (1915–1940), a Brno native and an outstanding music composer. It is both symptomatic and ironic that it is her lungs, suffering from tuberculosis, that – in a metaphorical sense – give rise to this animation.


Interview with the author: