At Ca' Foscari, Lena Herzog's site-specific immersive installation on the world's dying languages

An immersive virtual reality site-specific installation by photographer and artist Lena Herzog on the world's dying languages will be located in the courtyard of Ca' Foscari in Venice from April 21 to September 30, 2022.

From April 21 to Sept. 30, 2022, asite-specific immersive virtual realityinstallation will be placed in the courtyard of Ca’ Foscariin Venice on the occasion of Last Whispers: Immersive Oratorio for Vanishing Voices, Collapsing Universes and a Falling Tree, an art project by American photographer and artist Lena Herzog on the world’s dying languages.

Curated by Silvia Burini, Maria Gatti Racah, Giulia Gelmi, Anastasia Kozachenko-Stravinsky (Department of Philosophy and Cultural Heritage - DFBC), the project is sponsored by UNESCO.

Every two weeks the world loses a language. Currently, of the 7,000 surviving languages on the planet, only 30 are used by the majority of the population. It is estimated that at least half of the languages spoken today will be extinct by the end of the century. Other sources predict even more rapid times of disappearance. In an effort to raise awareness of this issue, the UN General Assembly and UNESCO have declared 2022-2032 as the “International Decade of Indigenous Languages.”

Last Whispers is a spatialized sound composition that combines speeches, songs, incantations and ritual chants with sounds and images of nature and frequencies from space. The project intends to give voice to what has been reduced to silence and will end in oblivion. With support from the Jim & Marilyn Simons Foundation, Lena Herzog selected recordings from theEndangered Languages Documentation Program at SOAS University in London (now housed at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities), the Smithsonian Institution, the Rosetta Project, and more than a dozen of the world’s largest language archives.

The artist’s sensitivity in addressing issues related to global sustainability, as well as his meticulous and structured documentary research, make the presentation of the Last Whispers project to Venetian and international audiences particularly significant.

Last Wh ispers will be presented at Ca’ Foscari University from April to September 2022, in three distinct moments: an immersive version in virtual reality will be accessible individually, with visors and headphones, from April 21 to July 30 in Tesa 1 of Ca’ Foscari Zattere - CFZ. Each visitor will be provided with a set, which will be sanitized after each use; asite-specific installation of images from the project will be exhibited in Ca’ Foscari’s main courtyard and open to the public from April 21 to Sept. 30; and an audiovisual projection of the work, on a large screen, will be presented in Ca’ Foscari’s central courtyard as the main event of Art Night 2022, to be held on June 18.

For more info:

Hours immersive installation: Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday from 3 to 6 p.m.

At Ca' Foscari, Lena Herzog's site-specific immersive installation on the world's dying languages
At Ca' Foscari, Lena Herzog's site-specific immersive installation on the world's dying languages

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