Abteilung Kunst und Kultur Amt der Niederösterreichischen Landesregierung – Bernhard Leitner: Ton / Raum / Skulptur


Kerber Verlag, ISBN-13: 978-3735602213, English, German, 304 pages, 2016, Austria

Leitner’s artworks have extensively investigated the ability to acoustically experience space in strict relation with our own physicality. Defined as “sound-space sculptures” they have involved the viewer in intimate and perceptually engaging spaces, through architectural forms and structures. His chairs, suits and different elements in his installations integrate singles tones as a fabric, unveiling how sound alterations change the perception of space. Leitner’s life-long investigation of the elusive relations between body and sound is a wonderful obsession, which keeps revealing important details. For example among his thoughts about hearing environments and the way presence, heat, clothes, etc. alter it, there’s also his disarmingly true statement that “we hear differently in the morning than we do in the evening”. This is a publication in a two volume box-set following his personal exhibition at St. Pölten’s Shedhalle. The first volume is an extensive Leitner monograph, while the second documents the refurbishing of a former electric grain mill into an exhibition space and his atelier. The monograph starts with a very detailed interview by Florian Steininger exploring all the historical works and their context, followed by his Sound Space manifesto written in 1977, and his text on Sound Architecture, while ending with a timely critical essay by Stefan Fricke. This publication documents (even without sounds) a historical artist and his pioneering work, potentially inspiring current and new generations.

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