Resonating Pillars

11 Mar — 28 May 2017 at the Den Frie Centre in Copenhagen, Denmark

Resonating Pillars, Exhibition view. Courtesy of Den Frie
Resonating Pillars, Exhibition view. Courtesy of Den Frie
7 APR 2017

Subtly yet insistently, Resonating Pillars appears as a peculiar habitat of sound. 16 hand-moulded and individually processed porcelain pillars fill the space with sound. The pillars constitute a sculptural choir of resonating sounds. They respond to noises from the audience and from the room itself. The porcelain and the individual construction of the single pillars capture the tones of the space in different ways, enhancing melodic sounds captured by specially sensitive microphones. The sounds from each of the pillars are then recorded individually and channel directly to speakers, which enhance both the individual notes and the installation as a whole.

The pillars are made at Royal Copenhagen’s workshops in collaboration with the modeler Bo Jørgensen. For over a year, Nistrup tested molding processes, glazing methods and burning options to construct and manipulate the pillars by their aural qualities. It is the first time that Royal Copenhagen has worked with an artist whose focus was sound and, more specifically, porcelain acoustic qualities.

Resonating Pillars stems from two research trips to the unique Vittala Temple, a Unesco site in southern India, where 56 granite pillars are designed to emit different tones and sounds when struck with wooden stick or tapped with the fingers. Nistrup has created the porcelain columns based on four of the basic forms from the Vital Temple pillars.

Resonating Pillars is thus a reproduction of the parts of the columns that are played at the temple.