Voices (Sounding Square)

Audio installation on the Parade Ground
of the Gatchina Grand Palace

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The audio installation is an emotionally saturated space in front of the palace where voices from the past suddenly become audible again. We hear military commands, regiments marching on the parade ground, the emperor inspecting a parade, cannons firing during artillery training, an officer galloping in with an urgent report, ladies of the court exchanging the latest society gossip, a carriage arriving, a joke told in French, laughter, and a greyhound barking. We hear sounds, but the visual images associated with these sounds arise only in our imagination. These voices are from a bygone era: they belong to disembodied, invisible phantoms. Apparently, the Gatchina Palace (like a haunted house) is still inhabited by people who departed this world long ago: nothing disappears without a trace.

The voices of the past on the “sounding square” are part of my original concept, which treats the Gatchina Palace as an enchanted castle where the past lives on in a parallel reality that occasionally makes itself known to current visitors of the palace.

A trial version of the audio installation was implemented during the PRO ARTE Foundation’s tenth annual Contemporary Art in the Traditional Museum festival, but there are plans to create a permanent installation.

© Concept: Alexander Reichstein
Technical assistance: Sergei Hismatov, Vladislav Petrov
Consultants: Evgenij Rodionov, Evgenij Jurkevich