Brooklyn Daily Eagle
For the first time this fall, the Brooklyn Academy of Music will have a “twin” art that is exhibited simultaneously at BAM and in Siberia.
The piece is called “Almost Antipodeans” and it is created by Brooklyn artist Rachel Owens. This is a commissioned work to celebrate the TransCultural Express initiative, a collaboration between BAM and the Mikhail Prokhorov Fund.
“Almost Antipodeans” is a “throne” composed of a section of aluminum stadium bleachers crowned by multiple stereo speakers of various sizes which become a visual seatback. The pieces are covered in their entirety in gold leaf. The multi-channel speakers emit recordings of human voices and ambient sounds. Owens produced these soundtracks by asking Brooklynites and Krasnoyarskians to answer the open ended question “what do you see?” The New Yorkers’ answers were translated into Russian and broadcast in the Krasnoyarsk version, installed at the Mira Square of the Krasnoyarsk Museum Center in Siberia as part of its Biennale, while the smaller twin piece installation at BAM Fisher broadcasts answers by Krasnoyarskians translated into English.
The idea of the commission was to make the “TransCultural” experience tangible. Owens was inspired by the fact that Krasnoyarsk and Brooklyn are almost exactly on opposite sides of the globe from one another. (An “antipode” of a place is the point on Earth diametrically opposed to it.) She wanted a piece that showed people what their counterparts on their global opposite were seeing and thinking. She refers to the forms as thrones however, instead of being a symbol of absolute power, they are democratic resting spots where anyone can sit and listen to the thoughts of other ordinary people, a world away.
This piece will be exhibited until Christmas.