ArtKino in Salurinn Music Hall

Loud & Clear & TOO
curator thora johannsen

Other artworks exhibited



Signboards in the form of electronic screens play a large role in LOUD & CLEAR & TOO. These are increasingly to be seen in our streets and in other public spaces. Signboards are designed in the first place to solicit and to promote commercial products, but here there is no commercial purpose to the advertising. Artists, composers and advertising agencies were asked to work together on making a DVD for LOUD & CLEAR & TOO, with a high degree of autonomy to be sure.

This sounds like a paradox, but the combination of disciplines should be seen more as a form of 'living apart together'. In most cases there was first consultation between the composer and the artist about their musical preferences, after which musicians in Amsterdam, Reykjavík, Zurich and New York were able to begin executing the brand-new compositions. The artists were invited to make a film and the advertising agencies were commissioned to advertise the world of the artist, without any commercial purpose. In this way as much freedom as possible was guaranteed.

It is striking that the music in LOUD & CLEAR & TOO plays a very dominant role in all 14 DVDs. The advertising agency Fastland from Reykjavik already commented at the beginning of the project that "short advertising spots were in all cases driven along by the music, which is what makes or breaks the commercial." This could explain why the artists have either responded to the music with slow images or have consciously integrated the music into the montage of their film.

Each DVD is clearly an individual work of art and shows a lively symbiosis between art, music, sound and advertising. Seeing and hearing the results of LOUD & CLEAR & TOO, one is immediately seized by the way in which, in most cases, the artists have made slowly moving images, as though life is not meant to have any beginning or end. The advertising agencies reveal a strong tendency towards paraphrasing the artists' films. In all cases they relate their contribution to the sort of clue or joke that we are confronted with in TV and cinema commercials.

It is a pleasure to see how, in all disciplines and at a high artistic level, a great contribution has been made to the discussion about what art, advertising and music have to do with each other in practice or to what extent they differ.

Thora Johansen is the founder and the director of the Bifrons Foundation in Amsterdam since 1998.The foundation has made 3 big projects,  Flash in 1999, Loud & Clear in 2002, Loud & Clear TOO in 2005.