Earlid | Undulating Fabric of Time, fall 2018
The first iteration of Karen Werner’s Haus (part of a multi-episode series called Strange Radio) whispers into your ear.
“Twenty-two letters” is a refrain that hints as much to language as it does to spirited numbers or book chapters or apartments in a Viennese building, even. It’s a work that is keenly felt. Along its narrative periphery is a house that Werner’s family lived in on Novaragasse—a house the Nazis re-fashioned into a deportation center, where 220 Viennese were processed, banished and then killed.
In the first part, Covenant of the Tongue, there’s a ghostly documenting. Werner uses her body as conduit. Notations of letters ply the tongue. Kabbalah and chance are both at play— not something the artist was fully in control of, she explains of her process.
The other side of the sonic diptych, Zirkus, dives into the stairwells of the house on Novaragasse where Werner collaborated with artists and musicians to stage a performance.
Listen to both parts of Haus and read a conversation with the American radio artist, Karen Werner.