Dear - Benjamin Zuber


2016, object and audio

The cables of the headphones are routed through the sheathed steel tube, the user is forced to stand very close to the object. When several people use the headphones at the same time, they inevitably stand closer together than an individual distance corresponding to the situation would normally require.

All three headphones simultaneously play a voice recording in which I read out about 30 English-speaking reviews (total recording time 43 minutes) from customers of various Tantra studios. The experiences of the clients differ in their orientation depending on which service was offered or used (from the classical massage over workshops and therapy-like sessions up to "enlightenment seminars" with several participants) and of course according to gender and personal situation of the reviewer. Sometimes the reviews - open or hidden - are suggestive or full of sexual allusions, then again highly emotional, full of warmth and expressions of love, pathetic, euphoric or objective - but the reviewers largely agree that their experience had a life-changing dimension. All texts are very intimate - even though they are freely available on the websites of the respective Tantra studios. The fact that I have spoken the texts myself creates something like a second personal level or a feeling of a kind of double voyeurism in the listener: on the one hand because of the technical deficiencies (of course I'm not a professional speaker and my English has a strong accent) and on the other hand because it's easy to hear that I tried to find my way into the respective reviewer and to modulate my voice accordingly – and therefore am present myself as a person in the recording. In the background of the voice recording, monotonous noises of a night train can be heard as an atmospheric sound backdrop.

Installation views at "Allesverloren", SØ, Copenhagen, 2016

Installation views at "FINITE TURN“, Galerie Matthias Jahn, Munich, 2016

Installation views at "shared spaces", Kunstverein Aschaffenburg, 2017