Installation: 3-channel audio- & 2-channel video, 2007

Short description
Advertising images
1. Beer without alcohol, Coke Zero, tofu sausages, Bionade
2. Ecological estate, solar cells, thermal images, ecopower brochure, air-clearing low energy lamps, wind power turbines
3. diverse insurances
4. Market analyses, sports exercises with chair
5. "Life Is Short" by X-Box

Left-hand speaker:
words by John Cage (Silence), texts about Black Paintings
Right-hand speaker:
texts about Islamic fasting

The silence of things
Thoughts on one of Adnan Softić's installations

The term spectacular can be used to describe a system that sets things in a state of unexposed escalation: It follows a logic of climaxes, each of which surpasses the other. Whatever appears, it magnificently overshadows what appeared shortly be-fore. In this respect every spectacle claims incomparable uniqueness; however be-cause it arises from the principle of the series, it also undermines itself.
Every spectacle exhausts itself or comes to an end, showing its provisional nature. For this reason each spectacle already heralds the next, serving merely as a pro-logue. The energy that is capable of escalating excessively has an impact not on the spectacle itself but much more on the escalation in which it participates and whose preliminary climax it marks. It is only in this way that the systems of escalation are able to imply that they can touch the infinite. Only in this way are they able to be-come a spectaculum.
The speculum is a mirror; those who behave speculatively seek to use existing in-formation to draw conclusions about what is on the inside, where the secret of things and the true nature of their progression lie. Spectacular on the other hand is the machinery of a setting that allows this secret to unfold in a proliferating system of mirrors. What was concealed until now as the innermost core of things circulates endlessly, reveals without reservation what has previously been held back, and as a spectacle overwhelms what is always perceived, with a cascade of effects.
This certainly calls for great effort that increases considerably with each intensifica-tion of the spectacle. The energy that must be expended for the structured alignment of the mirrors, the escalating cascades of infinite reflections, increases exponentially. For this reason, the monster cabinet is also governed by a secret fear. And this fear says that the current of strength from which the spectacle arises could be cut off.
At a certain point the energy that feeds it could be exhausted: The power to consis-tently outbid itself could, from one specific moment onwards, demand too much, the system of the escalation could implode, the apparatus of the fascination could break down. And sure enough, a system that reveals its innermost would be overcome with great exhaustion. There is nothing that could still be brought into play; nothing that could still be added to the apparatus of escalation. This is not only the moment in which the spectacle overcomes its own state of nothingness. More than that, a nullity of meaning, a nullity of secrets, a nullity of existence would enter its inner core here like a secretive, soon spectral or catastrophic look-alike. 
However herein lies the truth of the spectacle, from which it also tries to flee in panic. Because of the noise with which it allows things to appear, silence prevails. An impenetrable darkness governs in the blazing light of the spectacle’s invasion. These form the ground from which the spectacle arises; yet also the place to which the things it forces into escalation wish to return. It therefore comes as no surprise that the dream world of commodities that Adnan Softić’s installation of images and texts refers to returns with such profundity from the depths of contemplation, out of which passages from John Cage or techniques by Muslim mystics speak. 
Just as if the things had a completely unspectacular desire to give themselves over to their own nullity; as if a clandestine suicidal drive were in force here, which al-ways worked on it, silent and invisible: In this way the things dream, so it seems, of freeing themselves from the noise of the market, from the storm of camera flashes, in order to return to their own unique silence, to the darkness ordained to them. They are not only mystic factors but also the mystics themselves.
This manifestation of a suicidal drive however remains just as deceptive as the relief that it promises. This is because the noise and the silence, the storm of flashlights and the impenetrable darkness by no means cancel one other out. They correspond with one another, mutually support one other. For this reason, Adnan Softić’s installation does not speak of the fact that the stillness of Cage or the contemplation of the mystic could allow a truth to manifest, through which one can escape the sys-tematic structure of the spectacle. On the contrary, this manifestation would in fact be characterized more so by the spectacular.
The opposition of lightness and darkness, of noise and silence, even continues to conceal that in which it is fabricated and distributed. Not that Adnan Softić would present something concealed in such a way. As much as the installation plays with the medium of revelation, it at the same time maintains a distance to its truth, and to a much greater extent marks the outline of an experiment. “Those who succeed in completing this experiment without allowing that the revelation in nothingness which it reveals, remain concealed, but instead raise the topic of language itself, will be the first citizens of a community without prerequisites or a state, which encompasses the destructive and determining violence of the collective.” 
Voicing the theme of language itself – this reveals what still taxes the language of art, showing that it is a favoured topic of discussion in this context. It draws in what stands out because it cannot be divided up among oppositions of light and dark, noise and silence, life and death: As the infinite finite that never stops arriving and shames dual opposition. 
1 Giorgio Agamben, Die kommende Gemeinschaft (The Coming Community), Ber-lin: Merve 2003, p. 77

Hans-Joachim Lenger

“The fact that language cannot do justice to the "overview over all relationships" is one of Adnan Softić's fundamental insights when producing art. He finds spectacles fascinating and at the same time disquieting, as "something great is in the do" - all senses are addressed, a breathtaking and overwhelming experience.Yet can a "spectacle" abstaining from media at all be considered a spectacle? Would it make sense to set out on a quest for "lost spectacles"? A spectacle, for instance, featuring unhearable noise and a racket unheard of? In view of the fact that we currently live in a world of "global hyper-production" of spectacles one might suggest we should generally abandon this condition, relying on the notion that concluding the spectacle factory will spawn a "new economy". An artist will expect the "not yet pictured" to arise form such silence. Such a positioning of the unknown leads Softić's approach to consistent devaluation and subsequent recreation of symbols.” 

Brigitte Felderer