Hidden Melody. Harmonia Mundi - exercises in perspective

Kingsgate Gallery, London 2002

The work refers to Pythagorean idea of Harmonia Mundi. 
It is based on Johannes Kepler’s (XVII/XVIII) elaboration of Music of Spheres juxtaposed with microsounds revealed in one heartbeat. stretched to the light-distance between the Sun and the Earth (8min.31sec.). The rhythm unit is heartbeating.
Music is as important here as the relation between sound and visual form (see video- Hidden Melody)

video, cable, speaker put in the back of a seat, lamps, magnifying glass, "Harmonia Mundi - Do it yourself" - set

The “Do it yourself” set allows a viewer to create his own, ephemeral composition





press release 

This exhibition will present a new multi-media installation by the Polish artist Joanna Hoffmann. The show proposes a concise articulation of Hoffman's artistic endeavors, featuring her interest in interdependence between sound and its visual form. Harmonia Mundi. Exercises in Perspective integrates variety of media which the artist has been using so far: photography, artist's book, object, sound and video.

Hoffmann's work investigates the problem of relativity of dimensions, permeability of human and cosmic scales. Recognizing the cardiogram line and the sound of heartbeat as the essential marks of the human existence, she relates them to phenomena described by physics and astronomy. In her works, Hoffmann inscribes the event of heartbeat in circular movements of planets, pursuing the Pythagorean idea of Harmonia Mundi. Repetitive structures of her sound and video pieces parallel the inertia of physical bodies.

Harmonia Mundi. Exercises in Perspective juxtaposes visual elements with musical piece combining computer stretched sound of the heartbeat with sounds of planets as recognized and written down in the form of musical notation by Johannes Kepler. The viewer is invited to produce photographic prints of Kepler's notes, facing the cardiogram line drawn on the gallery walls and experiencing the organic reverberations of the sound of the heartbeat. Inserted in the exhibition is also a new video by the artist in which acoustic and visual waves are juxtaposed with ultrasonographic image of the inside of the human body.

The title of the exhibition refers to the problem of perspective, crucial in the visual arts since the early Renaissance. As the new technologies increasingly introduce new modes of understanding and experiencing the world, this subject seems to be especially relevant nowadays. In the age of virtual reality there seems to be no other stable point of reference than ourselves and our imagination.

Pawel Polit

Art critic , curator at the Centre for Contemporary Art in Warsaw