Absence of silence

Absence of silence
Installation with mixed materials, sound, photos and videos, 2003.

Kunstnernes hus, Oslo, 2002
Künstlerhaus Betanien, Berlin, Germany, 2003

From February to April 2002 Hanne Tyrmi lived and worked in Dehli, India as a part of the group project Rest-In-Space. The result of the stay was the installation Absence of Silence. The work consisted of re-worked tin cases, photographs, prayer boxes, a video diptych, a soundscape, a floor covered with coated posters and various found objects.

The Accumulated Absence of Silence

In the absence of silence there is chaos. It is not the apparent disorder of things that the term normally resonates, but a numb feeling of lost directions.

From every corner they are demanding time and attention, over-bidding each other with promises of guidance and direction through the chaos they are creating. The absence of silence amplifies itself to a screaming wall cancelling the senses: colour cancels smell, sound cancels message, tradition cancels progress and, with authority, the voices cancel the dialogue.

The overwhelming absence of silence penetrates the subject and is turning its individuality into glass. Leaving the subject transparent and fragile, the noise threatens to distort and break it. The absence of silence is creating an ephemeral state where it seems impossible to separate a single voice from totality of the noise.

Hanne Tyrmi experienced the movement of New Dehli from the backseat of a motorised Rickshaw. The colourfully decorated transport fights in aggressively slow traffic. I was always moving, but it is low enough to let people interfere and take part. From the backseat people and traffic is merging, but the pace of the Rickshaw is teasing you to stop it completely and investigate what you cannot see when you are moving. Letting the traffic leave her behind. Hanne Tyrmi found people and situations that had also stopped. In comparison with the roaring traffic pushing in every direction, the life on the sidewalk is delicate. The absence of movement is allowing you to notice and single out other stories and reflections. It is breaking down the wall of noise, revealing the presence of more subtle whispers.

Hanne Tyrmi experienced a nomadic existence in New Dehli. She knew her stay was temporarily, and that she at one point had to collect her impressions and take them with her. She early saw how the single voice struggled in an overwhelming absence of silence, and how this threatened to cancel and break her own ability to experience. This understanding made her start to pack and organise her luggage the same day she arrived, taking whispered out of noise, carefully placing them where they could not be distorted.

After one minute of silence even the weakest whisper has got a voice of its own.

Bår Tyrmi, 2002