Alexandra Naledi Holtman

Artist Catalogue

Virtual Exhibition

Hearing Silence, Seeing Sounds: Exploring sound, presence and the magnitude of silence

In the half-between world Dwell they, the sound-scientist Mathematically precise. . . . .. . They speak of many things The tone scientists Architects of planes of discipline. Sun Ra This body of work has been driven by a curiosity for listening. Through working with sonic visualisation, audible and inaudible sound, this year has been underpinned by an exploration of sound as an intangible connector between that which is seemingly separated. In seeking to explore alternatives of meaning-making to the ocular-centrism of the 21st century, I have been interested in the power of sound to conjure familiarity, location and similarly dislocation and alienation through feeling. Being inspired by the research on sound, critical theory and contemporary art practice explored in Acoustic Entanglements (2017) by Sabine Kim, I am interested in the transgressive and immersive potentials of sound as “the body is more permeable to sound than to vision (while one can close the eyes, the ears are always open)” (Kim, 2017:27).

The gathering of material in a research-led practice has fuelled the investigations this year, from the collecting of academic sources to evidence from outside archival collections, organic samples from my own moving components of home. By focusing on common materials used in mark-making - ink, paper and calico - I have been driven by a curiosity for interacting with methods devised to quantify and map the invisible. Through conversion and abstraction, I have sought to engage with materials and concepts through experiments revealing opportunities for new perspectives, using artistic practice as a catalyst for discussion. Being guided by conceptual and theoretical concerns, I aim to create art that situates the viewer in a space of questioning, where the multiplicities of meaning-making can be considered. Being driven by the connective potential of sound, this body of work seeks to open a space of awareness of the power in the act of listening.

Through documenting soundscapes in an attempt to preserve the ephemeral - ink, paper, calico and gelatine, have been used to highlight bodily remembrance of sound and to invite contemplation of accumulated soundscapes that live silently within us through memory. This has been echoed in the engagement with infrasound, where its presence is indicated in the movement of the speaker and the subtle movement of materials in close proximity. Through the inclusion of these varying layers of engagement in installation, the aim is to immerse the viewer in a a space of inquiry into sound and silence, inviting a heightened sensitivity to listening and to the magnitude of “silence”.

Alexandra-Naledi Holtman
b. 31/07/1999 Cape Town, South Africa