Esther Mañas (ES) and Arash Mooris (GB) work lies between sonic, cinematic and architectural terrains. Themes within their work are explored within constructed site-specific sound environments which utilise in situ objects such as lighting or machinery in order to generate real time spatial soundscapes. Architectural spaces become central characters both in the provision of their hidden sounds or histories and in their acoustic and contextual reshaping of such.
Their first solo exhibition in Košice, Slovakia titled ‘September at the Hotel Ozone’, draws on and collages various occulted histories with numerous fictional and fabricated elements, creating a setting in which new possible readings emerge as an activated site generates its own soundtrack and a dislocated narrative from the remains of its detritus. Mañas & Moori’s point of departure which the title refers to is the history of Czechoslovak censored cinema, aptly named ‘Trezor’ films (translated as ‘locked away’) because of their removal from circulation and from the general knowledge of a wider public.
Obscured by a dense layer of mist, various cage-like constructions and wooden debris litter a former glasshouse. In-situ fluorescents randomly fire on and off, the sound of which is amplified to near uncomfortable levels by hidden microphones and speakers. Adjoining this site of abandonment, two parallel glass corridors pulse and drone synchronously with the sound of amplified insect killers, the glass tunnels acting as vessels for a sound which seeps and vibrates through the pores of the crumbling and mottled brickwork. A staircase reachable from the outside of a glasshouse leads to a sun-drenched room, its yellow stained blinds acting as a screen onto which silhouetted plant life ominously hang. An octagonal structure obstructs the space, its exterior walls containing evenly-spaced cuts through which glimpses of a blue neon-lit interior can be caught. Within the room a hanging fly killer drones, various objects lie strewn and the ticking of a metronome sounds. The structure resembles a stationary stroboscope or life-size ‘Dream Machine’, its structure grounded, a frozen film cell awaiting re-animation.