Leif Elggren (SWE)
Brandon LaBelle (USA)

The Showroom, London, 20 November 2009


This event organized in collaboration with Brandon LaBelle at The Showroom in London, celebrated the DVD release by Leif Elggren on Errant Bodies Press and marked the beginning of Season II - The Listening Project.

Following the introductory talks by Daniela Cascella, Lucia Farinati and Brandon LaBelle and the screening of the DVD Death Travels Backwards, two text-based sound performances were staged in the main gallery.
Brandon LaBelle performed In the Dark, a poignant monologue that brought the listeners into a 'deconstructive discourse' around sound while embracing the live texture of silence.
As part of his ongoing research into the figure of Emanuel Swedenborg, the 18th century Swedish inventor, philosopher and mystic, Leif Elggren presented a sound narrative constructed around his extraordinary experience of encountering the organ at Swedenborg's former Summerhouse in Stockholm.

The presentation of Swedenborg's Organ was recorded and subsequently released by The Tapeworm in All Animals Are Saints. Cassette,TTW#14.

Death Travels Backwards

"Active since the late 1970s, Leif Elggren is one of the most constantly surprising and mysterious conceptual artists to work in the combined fields of audio and video. A writer, visual artist, stage performer and composer, he has numerous audio releases to his credit, working individually and also with the Sons of God (along with Kent Tankred). His music, often conceived as the soundtrack to visual installations or experimental stage performances, presents carefully selected sound sources over a long stretch of time and can range from mesmerizingly quiet electronics to harsh noise. His wide-ranging and investigative body of work consistently involves dreams and mysterious narratives, often inverting social hierarchies to ultimately subvert the real with poetical matter.
Death Travels Backwards documents Elggren's ongoing engagement and use of video. Cataloguing a collection of works from 1999 to the present, Death Travels Backwards delivers an important overview of the artist's pursuit of the hidden secrets and spectral enigmas found within the everyday.
What marks Elggren's video works is an understanding of how image and sound work together to infuse the electronic material with an element of the uncanny, and to supply the imagination of the viewer with a glimpse onto infinity."
Brandon LaBelle, text from the Press Release, November 2010

Leif Elggren, Death Travels Backwards
DVD digipack with text, Errant Bodies Records #05

Leif Elggren, Swedenborg's Organ (Excerpt)

  • 'Death Travels Backwards', dvd launch, gallery view, The Showroom, 20 November 2009
  • Leif Elggren, 'Swedenborg's Organ', detail of the presentation, The Showroom, 20 November 2009
  • Leif Elggren, Daniela Cascella, Lucia Farinati, The Showroom, 20 November 2009
  • Brandon LaBelle, detail of the performance, The Showroom, 20 November 2009
  • Brandon LaBelle, detail of the performance, The Showroom, 20 November 2009
  • Audience, The Showroom, 20 November 2009
  • Leif Elggren, 'All Animals Are Saints', tape cover, 2009
  • Leif Elggren, 'Death Travels Backwards', dvd cover, 2009