Niche Nigthingale


Kunststation Wuppertal

Niche Nigthingale

Niche Nightingale, Audio, 2015
nocturnal field recording on a
inner-city wasteland.
Over headphones: Niche neighbours
Niche Nightingale. Video, 2017.
The wasteland after the
clearance and grubbing.
Food niches. Photographs, 2006.

“Niche Nightingale” combines two audio works, a photo series and a film to create an expansive installation. All elements refer to a wasteland in the centre of Düsseldorf, which was used as a living space for homeless people until it was cleared and grubbed up in 2017. While a settlement with around 20 tents and sheds was created in the bushes, the same space was used by a nightingale, which drew attention to itself and its nesting place at night with loud singing.

The nocturnal sound recording of the nightingale fills the space of the installation. Unlike in the romantic interpretation, its song is more of a signal-like, penetrating call. The video shows the clearing and grubbing up that reveals the remains of the tent settlement. A series of photos shows a homeless man’s makeshift cat feeding places. They appear very sculptural and have a kinship with the remains of the tents in the film.

Two further audios can be heard through headphones, which protect the listener from the loud, expansive nightingale sound. Two neighbours of the wasteland talk about the nightingale: Elke describes the nightingale’s way of life and its adaptation to the urban space. Calum talks about a Scottish bird researcher friend of his who first recorded rare bird species and then later exclusively made “recordings of nothing” in the Scottish Highlands in order to assemble these recordings into a large tape of silence.

Food niches, photographs, 2006, installation Kunststation Wuppertal.

Niche Nightingale. Sound installation, 60 min, Loop. Kunststation Wuppertal. / ©Christian Ahlborn.

Niche Nightingale. Video. Kunststation Wuppertal. 2017.