To Feel Alive

In the heat and humidity of a Berlin summer, the chaotic energy of the city alive in the streets, I navigated my way down Fredrichstraße to Gallerie Crone, anticipating Swiss artists Caroline Bachmann and Stefan Banz’s latest exhibition, “Alive has no Sound,” at Galerie Crone. I wondered to myself, how can there be silence in life? – And if “alive” has no sound, then does it follow that death is nothing but noise?! Bachmann and Banz’s exhibition runs for only a few more days, so be sure to catch this exhibition that is bound to put you deep in thought and make you question what it means to be alive.

Stepping onto the first floor of the gallery, pieced around the four walls were images that all looked very similar – they reminded me of negative photograhs of statues and trees; death and life. But they also gave me the feeling of nostalgia, the past, like a memory – they were still and silent. It made me think that life in the sense of the constant present is full of noise, but memory, an unavoidable part of the act of being “alive,” has no sound; they are morbid parts of our being, greyscale and silent versions of a chaotic and colorful past.

What it Means to be Alive

But as I ascended up the stairs to explore the second floor, I realized that this exhibition was not just about the intangible entities of past and present, but also the physical presence of liveliness. Metal statues in abstract shapes were scattered strategically around the room, their darkness dominating the space. They stood bold and proud, yet I felt that the fact that they were so loud in their physicality emphasized their silence. They seemed to represent men, each with different shaped hats – they mirrored life, but they were not life-like.

Eventually the exhibition became clear in my mind – my interpretation was that the artists were trying to get to the essence of what it means to be alive, and I feel that they came to the conclusion that to be alive is not motion, or noise, or chaos. It is, paradoxically, stillness and silence – snapshots of memories, the idleness of being. In other words, in order to be lively, we have to be stationary.

  • Galerie Crone  Caroline Bachmann and Stefan Banz “Alive Has No Sound”  June 23rd – August 25th, 2012.  Open Tuesday – Saturday 11am – 6pm. (berlin-artparasites Price Estimate: 500 – 2,000€)