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OPENING: Fito Conesa and Siddarth Gautam Singh. ‘Ménagerie’

Tuesday 8 November 2022, 7 pm

OPENING: Fito Conesa and Siddarth Gautam Singh. ‘Ménagerie’
Fito Conesa and Siddhart Gautam Singh, 'Ménagerie'. Image courtesy the artists.

In the year of its first collaboration with the LOOP Festival, El Born-Centre de Cultura i Memòria hosts the opening of the event and the premiere of a new audiovisual performance by Fito Conesa and Siddharth Gautam Singh.

Ménagerie is a French word that could be translated as a ‘wild animal house’, a ‘wild animal exhibition’ or a ‘wild animal refuge’ and which designates a historical establishment intended to host and display captive wild animals under the custody of humans. Generally speaking, the animals exhibited there were mostly exotic by the standards of the country where the menagerie was located.

Fito Conesa and Siddarth Gautam Singh would like to break this anthropocentric notion of cataloguing, cramming and wanting to impose an inquisitorial order upon nature, like those who trap a moment in a photograph, renouncing the invisible synaesthesia.

In the mid-20th century, French composer Olivier Messaien already (probably unknowingly) suggested other ways of approaching this notion of classifying nature and freezing time. In his Catalogue of birds he toyed with a new possibility of embracing nature, a poetic attempt to establish some kind of sound register to the melodies and songs of birds translated into musical language, much like when you hum a song and then clumsily attempt to play the melody on a piano.

This modern-day Menagerie presents itself as the exquisite corpse of beings that indistinctly inhabit the past and the present, and which will surely be the ones who draw the future. Let us imagine for one moment (in an exercise in radical concentration) that there are also new possibilities hidden within the permafrost or fossil ice, and that the ice that rapidly becomes water not only contains ancient bacteria and beings, but perhaps also (and in a context of extreme positivism) those species frozen in the past will be those that will reorganise the future.

We are offered a recital of ancient sounds, iridescences and a new ecosystem that will become formalised in a display which, in the space of an hour, will show us new chapters of these non-human beings and narratives.

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