Evidence hints at the event. Parts of broken drumsticks, a sound recording, a photograph and a written approach. Traces, relics. The work „Safe Crash“ by visual artist Florian Bräunlich consists of porcelain drumsticks, plastic buckets, a wooden platform, varnish, cymbals, cymbal stands, a floor tom and a spotlight on which the second release of „dispari“ is based.
A sound recording witnesses Sven-Åke Johansson’s performance of Florian Bräunlich’s “Safe Crash” at HFBK, Hamburg in September 2020. The moment Johansson begins to play with the porcelain drumsticks, he transfers them into another state. In the course of the performance, the melodic-rhythmic sounds shift perceptibly towards the material exploration of the porcelain. Johansson – a style-defining drummer of the German free jazz era of the 60s and 70s; from the 80s onwards, he pursued an artistic path as a music performer in the circles of fine arts and new music – works out all aspects and parameters of the material’s sonority, tries to make the objects audible in their quality. His playing is an immediate response to the sound of the things he is working with.
Listening to the recording reveals the insatiable curiosity with which he explores the material before it breaks. It is a venture he undertakes, an experiment, an investigation. Little by little, he adopts the dysfunctionality of the drumsticks. Owing to the way the material is used, the minimalistic piece seems like an adaptation of the orgies of material destruction known from Fluxus, which were paralleled by a musicalization of the everyday world. Any object could become an instrument.
Johansson carries Bräunlich’s sculptural work forward; based on his touch, his play, he amplifies what is already inherent in the form. Though the function and materiality of the objects initially appear as a contradiction, it is precisely this contradiction that heightens their performative quality. The ephemeral nature of sound is set in relation to the supposed permanence of the medium of sculpture. The process of fragmentation leads to the final state, the final form – splinters all over the place. For each publication some of the relics are placed in a cardboard box together with a sound recording on a single sided C-28 cassette tape, a hand-printed letterpress poster and postcards.
It is a play with the immediacy of the performance, the lingering sound – the during and the after. (Merle Radtke)
Edition of 100.