Pentiments is honored to present the first vinyl-format offering of the work of long-time film, theater and sound art figure Arsenije Jovanović, co-released in collaboration with TONSPUR Kunstverein Wien (curator Georg Weckwerth). Arsenije Jovanović, born in Belgrade, Serbia in 1932, has been working in experimental media since the 1960s, beginning his career as a producer and director of theater and TV and eventually going on to produce several award-winning radio dramas in the 1970s whose approach to the use of sound as experiential narrative material has since become a distinguishing aspect of his work. In The Art of Speech (For Ana), the materials employed come from a source considerably more intimate than those of his other works; voice recordings of Jovanović’s daughter, Ana, ranging from some of the first struggling breaths after birth to the virtuosic and fully developed speech and musicianship of the subject as a 19 year-old woman, are juxtaposed and amalgamated into an object of morphogenetic study. The linear timeline of human vocal and linguistic development is in a sense collapsed and reconstructed through the varying and often markedly disparate moments of verbal capacity and aptitude put on display, these moments frequently colliding and contrasting to create a complex perspective of a human being with her stages of formation cast into sounding simultaneity—an alternate sonic chronology. In this work as well, Jovanović’s trademark sense of composition makes apparent his still astute dramaturgical ear, somehow constructing just as vividly through domestic and familial sound recordings a poetics of mise en scène as one would find in the most enduring stage and screen dramas of the past and present.
Originally premiering in 2018 as an eight-channel installation for the series TONSPUR for a public space, temporarily presented in the Micro Museum TONSPUR_passage at MQ in Vienna, the piece has been mixed down to a 54-minute long two-part stereo composition for this release. Released in an edition of 200 LPs with full color jacket and labels, black and white printed inner sleeve and a two-sided 12×18” poster featuring a collage of the seven images used in the original installation and texts on Jovanović’s work by Daniel Brożek and Elisabeth Zimmerman of ORF Kunstradio. Mastered and cut by Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering, visual design by Alessandri Design.