"Dynamics and evolution are the only constants in my pursuits. The question mark is the leader. Each question brings an answer that raises new questions." In the ICC (International Cultural Centre) in Antwerp the visual artist and singer George Smits presented in 1981 a performance that focused on his concept of ‘Isomopolis’ (or ‘Polystyrenopolis’ in English): an amalgam of sculptures that produce acoustic vibrations and retain them for a long period of time. The artist had started this project in the 1970s, and he created ever more impressive sculptures with polystyrene and strings. They came in all sorts of sizes and types: tightly stretched or spiral-shapes strings, piano strings, strings attached to bamboo or to objects made of polystyrene foam.

In ‘Isomopolis; Performance met klanksculpturen’ (‘Isomopolis; Performance with Sound Sculptures’), Toet (as many of his Antwerp friends used to call the late George Smits) engages in an interaction with a series of his recent sculptures. He carefully hammers on a spiral-shaped metal object, and then treats his ready-made instrument with rubber bands. This results in drones that deeply and intensely resonate. On the walls and scattered over the floor Smits installed round shapes cut from polystyrene; they are equipped with strings that crisscross the space. Humbly, meticulously, the artist plucks his idiosyncratic instruments, producing an impressive—sometimes distressing and paranoid—sound that evokes a wide range of emotions and transcends all cultural and musical references.

After working with polystyrene, Smits evolved in the early nineties with his sound sculptures to electronic sampling and combining them with voice and guitar. Weekly he had a show on the Antwerp Radio Centraal: ‘Zbolk Night Radio’. In 1994 he wrote about his music: “How far can one go building acoustic instruments from scrap, playing them and putting it on tape, composing songs with the sampled sounds on low budget digital equipment, mixing the songs with the original sounds, live, on a weekly local radio broadcast, without someone saying: "you’re out of tune, out of time, you freak out, you’re fired.”

  • Formaat U-Matic(U-Matic (LoBand))
  • Kleursysteem PAL
  • Kleur col.
  • Jaar 1981
  • Duur 00:20:00
  • Kunstenaars