Kunsthaus Graz

Bill Fontana 
Sonic Projections & Primal Energies

Installation, Exhibition



Parallel Program 2020

Production specifics
Bill Fontana. Sonic Projections
In the context of Graz Kulturjahr 2020
In cooperation with steirischer herbst ’20

Bill Fontana. Primal Energies
In collaboration with University of Music and Performing Arts Graz, Ö1 Kunstradio (ORF), Radio Helsinki, mur.at, FunkFeuer Graz, and the project Kultur inklusiv, which is supported by the AVL Cultural Foundation
In cooperation with steirischer herbst ’20

Bill Fontana: Sonic Projections

Sonic Projections is a sound project for the urban space of Graz. It is an adapted reenactment of the sound installation Bill Fontana developed for the city as part of steirischer herbst ʼ88, which explored the National Socialist seizure of power. Although at the time public resistance to the artworks’ radical content led to a premature end of the installation, Fontana’s work continues to resonate with a melancholic longing in the memory of many residents. In its contemporary transformation, Fontana broadcasts—from the roof of Kunsthaus and the clocktower on the Schloßberg—a dialogue of harmonious sounds of nature and culture gathered from all over the world into the urban environment. This dialogue includes old and new sounds, such as the song of an American nightingale, an Australian lyrebird, or the blast of a foghorn from San Francisco Bay, regularly inviting us to enjoy a brief, private retracing of the “overlooked.”

Bill Fontana. Primal Energies

In Bill Fontana’s solo exhibition Primal Energies in the domed hall of Kunsthaus Graz, visitors can experience a live installation about the acoustic and visual aesthetics of renewable energies created specifically for this location. In a multidimensional spatial montage, Fontana creates an ever-changing installation that processes the sounds of hydropower, geothermal, solar, and wind energy production. From the most precise sound recordings and defamiliarized images, the artist creates a composition that is directly affected by live recordings from the surroundings. For example, sounds from the interior of a tree on the banks of the Mur, which was recently dammed for a new hydroelectric power station, illuminate the fragile balance between technical progress and landscape change. Fontana’s work deals with such developments and interventions in our everyday environment and makes them physically tangible in an immediate manner.

Curated by Katrin Bucher Trantow