[Photos: Galerie Tanja Wagner]

Soft Destructions is Anna Witt’s fifth solo exhibition at Galerie Tanja Wagner. A site-specific installation is set to become the stage for a series of live performances by professional ASMR artists, taking place during Gallery Weekend 2022.

The term ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) refers to a physical reaction comprised of a pleasant tingling sensation which many people find soothing. It became popular in social media, eventually developing into a community phenomenon in 2010, primarily on YouTube. Mutual care and emotional closeness are the cornerstones of this community, as users share and watch videos to help relieve stress, anxiety, or sleeping disorders.

The live sound-performances will focus on the auditory and sensory effects of gentle, destructive actions towards objects spread within the gallery. Visitors will get a chance to experience the closeness and uniquely intimate atmosphere specific to ASMR. Wearing headphones, the reverberating sounds of cracking or scraping will be amplified for visitors, while video streams expose the actions in greater detail.

Increasingly, the installation is dissected through its quest for “triggering” sounds. The physical debris left by the performances will remain and accumulate within the space, thereby constantly changing it. This underlines the ambivalent character of the process, in which destructive actions towards objects result in the creation of intimacy and human affection.

Experimental and performative art forms are essential to Anna Witt’s work. She often works collaboratively, and is particularly interested in forms of care work, and the divergence of social connectivity and detachment.

“What particularly interests me about the project is the inherent ambivalence of the practice. In a process of destruction, the objects and the space change. The performances leave traces of devastation. At the same time, it is about care and affection. The actions deliberately produce sounds that are characterized by closeness and intimacy. The simple yet thorough and delicate acts are produced with the viewer in mind. In an abstract way, it is a reaction to the complexity of time. The ubiquitous destructive acts happening within the installation paradoxically belong to a contemporary phenomenon of care” – Anna Witt

Special thanks to the ASMR performers: Marta Forsberg, Dennis Hodel, Jessie Marino, Valerie Renay, Troy Mighty.

Anna Witt (*1981 in Wasserburg am Inn, Germany) lives and works in Vienna, Austria.
Selected solo exhibitions include Goethe-Institut Neapel (2021), Belvedere 21, Vienna (2018), Kunsthalle Sankt Gallen (2018), and Janco-Dada Museum En Hod, Israel (2012). Her work was exhibited in group exhibitions including Kunstmuseum Stuttgart (2021), Seoul Museum of Art (2019), Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei (2013), Secession, Vienna, the Berlin Bienniale for Contemporary Art, Kunstmuseum Bern, and Museum Ludwig, Cologne (all 2010).

[Text: Galerie Tanja Wagner]

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