Raphaela Vogel builds her own seductive scenarios and unusual distortions by using monumental sculptures, sounds, and performances by animals and machines. As a hybrid system, the commissioned work “Mucksmäuschenmusik” at Kleiner Wasserspeicher translates various desolate and opposite emotions of life into simultaneously powerful and fragile sound sculptures. In a condensation of touching gestures, Vogel chooses sound samples and manipulated narratives which evoke a sense of nostalgia such as baby cries, piano improvisations, melancholic singing from a love letter from her ex, and a football anthem; weirdly portraying our emotional turmoil and the current state of life in the Anthropocene: Loneliness, pressure, transformation, hope.
By contrast, the appropriation of mythological animals in Vogels’ sculptures break and renegotiate assumptions about traditions and power dynamics in both society and the art world, and in connection to the sonic. The video—shot with a distorted 360-degree wide angle camera in parks, zoos and places in Portugal, Morocco and Berlin—highlights symbols of masculinity, strength and vitality. Lions hang, head down, from Hollywood swings, while other animal companions appear to have taken over the world. Through symbols such as these “Mucksmäuschenmusik” asks, how do we show off our strength, and what would that sound like? Where are our weaknesses, who eats whom, and how much can we ultimately take?