Shown as part of Alserkal Art Week (3–13 March 2022), “A Slightly Curving Place” is the first ambisonic soundscape in the UAE. This exhibition is homage to the practice of self-taught acoustic archaeologist Umashankar Manthravadi, who set up the world’s largest ethnomusicology archive in the 1980s.
The exhibition’s title comes from Jain cosmology. Isipabbharabhumi is a Prakrit phrase referring to a special place above the heavens shaped like a parasol.
Bringing together works by writers, choreographers, composers, actors, dancers, and musicians, the exhibition features an audio play and a video installation organised around biographical elements of Manthravadi’s life.
In this exhibition, “a slightly curving place” is found under an ambisonic dome of speakers. Listeners will sense the past they cannot hear. The ambisonic dome comprises 21 speakers and produces a three-dimensional sound field. The sound that arrives is a record of sound as it was. On projection screens, the body of a dancer rotates in one direction, as it makes an image of time that turns in another.
Centred around an audio play and a video installation, the exhibition brings together writers, choreographers, composers, actors, dancers, musicians, field recordists, and sound, light, and graphic designers who engage and transform each other’s work and also that of many others.
Curated by Nida Ghouse
Starts 3 March 2022
Ends 22 March 2022