ODRADEK

By Dora García and Jan Mech
12-Channel (Ambisonics) Audio Installation 2018
MNCARS/ Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid
6-Channel Version
Lûd - Sound Art in Rijsterbos2018, Leuwaarden, The Netherlands (https://www.lud.frl/en/)

“Die einen sagen, das Wort Odradek stamme aus dem Slawischen und sie suchen auf Grund dessen die Bildung des Wortes nachzuweisen. Andere wieder meinen, es stamme aus dem Deutschen, vom Slawischen sei es nur beeinflußt. Die Unsicherheit beider Deutungen aber läßt wohl mit Recht darauf schließen, daß keine zutrifft, zumal man auch mit keiner von ihnen einen Sinn des Wortes finden kann.”

Franz Kafka, Die Sorge des Hausvaters


“Some say the word Odradek is of Slavonic origin, and try to account for it on that basis. Others again believe it to be of German origin, only influenced by Slavonic. The uncertainty of both interpretations allows one to assume with justice that neither is accurate, especially as neither of them provides an intelligent meaning of the word.”

Franz Kafka, The Cares of a Family Man


Odradek, in the short story The Cares of a Family Man (Die Sorge des Hausvaters) by Franz Kafka is described as an object-like creature that inhabits the house of a family. Apart from its (happy) existence it seems to completely without purpose, which leads the house father to the worries, that it may be eternal.


Odradek is a 12-channel Audio installation conceived for the Sala de Bóvedas (a romanic vaulted basement) and formed part of the exhibition Segunda Vez by Dora Garcia.


The location is divided into two spaces of almost equal sizes, connected by a narrow passage. The first part was lit very dimly and fitted with old cinema seating, facing the passage towards the second room which was left in complete darkness.


In the second part of the space 12 speakers were mounted on the walls and the dome of the room to display a musical sound composition. Ambisonics was used for the multi-channel production, allowing for “holographic” three dimensional spaced ad realistic movements of sounds to be audible. The audience could experience a journey through different abstract and realistic spaces, in which a a woody sounding creature seems to live.

Due to it’s “invisible nature” there are no actual photographs of the work.


A 6-Channel version was created the same year for the Sound Art exhibition Lûd - Sound Art in Rijsterbos in a forrest close to Leuwaarden in the north of Holland. Located at a crossing of two paths the treetops and crowns hosted the loudspeakers and formed a natural dome.

Detail of Installation Location at MNCARS
Installation Location at the Rijsterbos, NL
Detail of Installation Location at the Rijsterbos, NL
Detail of Installation Location at MNCARS Installation Location at the Rijsterbos, NL Detail of Installation Location at the Rijsterbos, NL