T_D #8: Angélica Castelló • Magnetismos

6 May–12 Jun 2024 • daily 10 am–8 pm

TONSPUR_display | Showroom TONSPUR Kunstverein Wien
MuseumsQuartier Wien • Museumsplatz 1 • 1070 Vienna
Opening • Sunday May 5 2024 • 17:00

Angelica Castelló’s work interweaves sound, tradition, and intimacy into narratives that whisper through the magnetic tape threads she deftly manipulates. In her hands, the magnetic tape transcends its conventional role as a repository, becoming a murmuring symbolic nexus of past and present bound together in a mesh, like a ghostly conversation.

The core of Castelló’s magnetophonic tape weaving resides in the material’s dual role as a recording surface and a storyteller. Like an ancient bard, she breathes life into memories, reviving the echoes of religious and pagan traditions. Through the use of old radios and cassette players, she constructs altars of sound that evoke past presences.

In this body of works, she ties the precision to the meditative in the act of weaving— tejer lo vivido (weaving what has been lived). Each strand of tape is a thread in the tapestry of her narrative, laid to create a pattern of texture and meaning. Often in dialogue with her compositions, born from transformed field recordings, radio waves, and whispered incantations, they expand in oceanic textures, vast and engulfing. They draw the listener into their depths, enveloping them in a world of sound and sensation. In their beauty and seductiveness, they speak to the primal nature of the human spirit, stirring something deep within the soul.

In Magnetismos, three different pieces converge: Magnetic Room (2017), Magellanic Tapes (2018), and Magnetic Islands (2017). Each of these works encapsulates its own narrative, embodying the voices and spirits of various tapes.

Magnetic Islands (2017) presents a memory blanket fashioned from cassette tape, a material rich in magnetic properties, symbolizing protection against oblivion. This flexible sculpture, resembling woven seaweed, embodies the themes of texture, textile, and magnetism.

Magnetic Room (2017) is an immersive exploration of worship, confusion, and memory. The installation creates a unified mass of vibrating energy with its five amorphous, organ-like shapes made of knit cassette-like tape suspended from the ceiling. The dim light illuminates the tape, glistening like a reptile emerging from a swamp. The movements of the suspended mass are amplified by a pedestal beneath. The installation serves as an instruction manual for the complexities of worry, offering insights into containment, freedom, darkness, and productivity.

Magellanic Tapes (2018) in its original format, is an installation comprising a woven tapestry of cassette tape, found objects, destroyed cassettes, mini Polaroid pictures, audio files, speakers, and optional video components. Stemming from Angélica Castelló’s artistic residency in the sub-polar region of Chile, specifically the Magellanic Strait zone, the project delves into themes of memory, distance, and the everyday lives of remote inhabitants. The work revolves around the omnipresent ocean wind, a recurring motif in Castelló’s oeuvre, symbolizing the interconnectedness of nature and culture. Through analogue and physical mediums, the installation immerses viewers in the stories and emotions evoked during the expedition, featuring audio recordings ranging from wind and human encounters to local music and schoolchildren’s voices. These recordings, made on analogue cassette tapes and digitized for musical composition, are then woven into the tapestry, intertwining personal narratives, ethnographic observations, and experimental soundscapes. The installation also includes a video of the artist crocheting on Isla de Hornos, found objects, and photos capturing the essence of the journey, offering viewers a multi-sensory exploration of a trip to the edge of the world and a poetic homage to the power of nature.

For Magnetismos, these pieces are re-contextualized with their compositions falling silent while their spectral presence persists, revealing new landscapes.

Lorena Moreno Vera, 2024

ANGÉLICA CASTELLÓ *1972, MEX/A, composer and sound artist. Studied in Mexico, Canada, Holland and Austria. Her work revolves around the enigmatic land of lost memories, death and traumatic encounters, fragility, the dream world and the subconscious.
Numerous compositions, publications, collaborations and prizes.
She also works as a curator and lecturer (University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna and Anton Bruckner Private University).
Angélica Castelló lives and works in Vienna.