Andrea Cavallari (Italy | UK)

13–24 January 2016, 12pm - 8pm
The Substation Gallery

Asian Premiere



Free Admission

Biography of Artist

Arnia presents an extremely disruptive yet symbolic act: a glass case enclosing an empty bee hive, with the audience engulfed by the dark, desperate and deafening roar of the ghosts of 50,000 bees.

The humming caused by the rapid beating of bees' wings has been said to have a vibrational frequency similar to a note believed to be the basis of the whole system of Western music. The same note is present in ancient Greek and Egyptian musical instruments as well as Tibetan singing bowls, and also recalls the classic OM.

In the installation, this archaic noise fills the space with an alienating sense of restlessness, and envelopes visitors in an almost mystical state, where they begin to question the dangers of "progress", made with no regard to nature's reaction. Visitors confront a reality that is slowly being destroyed, evidenced by the gradual disappearance of bees from eco-systems around the world.

In the last ten years, almost a third of the global population of bees have disappeared, with the United States and Europe experiencing between 30 – 50% population losses. In highly urbanised Singapore, the rare spotting of bees often follows with calls for pest exterminators, rather than treasuring us them for playing an essential role as insect pollinators in our garden city. This problem goes beyond the animal realm: bees are the most effective means of pollination and their disappearance would greatly affect terrestrial flora, creating devastating effects on the ecosystem, which humans sometimes forget they are a part of.

Andrea Cavallari aims to create visual installations which explore the relation between light and sound, between images and music, and the fascinating combination of these elements.

Sean says:

"You could say this beautiful haunting art work is the only Fringe work that is actually created by animals themselves. I can't wait to immerse myself in the engulfing sound, sight and light of this installation brought to you by Andrea Cavallari and his bees."

Relationship to Art and the Animal

The installation is "performed" by the audio recording of 50,000 live bees and explores the incredible sound produced by these amazing animals. The soundscape is a primordial one that takes us back in time, to a dimension where the origin of life was in its infancy. It is one that has given rise to our way of thinking about music since 25 million years ago.