GIORGIO ORBI: El Perdón at Auditorium Parco della Musica in Rome
In the Trail of Amplified Pardons in a Burger King in Search of Kerry King.
On 13 December 2015 I receive, via wetransfer, Giorgio’s contribution to the “Sound Corner” project. It’s a 29-minute audio track: the sampling of a pop song. While it sounds familiar, I cannot recognise it. I turn to Shazam for help, but to no avail: the digital database fails to identify it. Finally, after having listened to it a few times, I get it: it’s El Perdon, that diabolical jingle by Nicky Jam (the top reggaeton star) and Enrique Iglesias. It’s an a cappella version of the song with a macho/metroxetual timbre worthy of a South-American soap opera.
Little remains of the original piece. It is as though it had shattered into a thousand bits and then been recomposed by pasting together only a few of its scattered fragments. Giorgio has made use of specific sections of the track by extending them, processing them and repeating them over and over so as to obtain a kind of abstraction. Insofar as it exploits sound like any other material, El Perdon may be described as a sculpture. A sculpture, that is, based not on mere appropriation but on the use of an element in such a way as to radically alter it, while preserving some features of the original source. At the same time, I like to think of El Perdon as a voice copied over and over again, to the point of losing its original traits.
The work conceived for the Auditorium is the third one by the artist to be purely based on sound. The first, entitled The Kingdom, was created in 2011 and presented at the 52nd Nuova Consonanza Festival. It consists in a track running for 414 minutes and 32 seconds that brings together all the guitar solos by Kerry King (the legendary founder of Slayer) included in the band’s discography. This is a tailor-made retrospective based
on a careful process of editing which, by switching from stereo to mono, gives rise to a single, solemn, giant solo.
Landscapes, clubbing culture and avant-garde cinema are the source of inspiration behind many works developed by Giorgio over the last years, through an ongoing exploration of the epic and sublime qualities rooted in these worlds. This bold, daring interplay combines themes and subjects ranging from techno music to Girolamo Frescobaldi, from the mountains to palm trees, and from Arthur Russell to parrots – all through a syncopated rhythm that keeps them in synch.
While confined to a transit area within the large beetle-like structure of the Auditorium, Orbi’s hymn greets those entering or exiting the building with sounds and languages from a different dimension. This is a chapel in which to translate – once again – everyday present life into a contemporary epic.
Text by Luca Lo Pinto
Auditorium Parco della Musica – Villagio Olimpico, Viale Pietro de Coubertin Rome
Opening Saturday 7 February, 6:00pm–8:30pm