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Mikhail Karikis

'Acoustics of Resistance'


16 April – 31 August 2021

“Listening is not a passive experience. It doesn't just happen to us. Listening is an action. When I listen, I choose to direct my attention to an other. So, when I listen, the ‘I’ becomes a ‘we’. And I don't only mean listening with my ears, but my entire body receiving, sensing the other. I mean listening as a way of thinking, as an attitude and a way of being.”

‘Acoustics of Resistance’ brings together a range of sound recordings made by Mikhail Karikis made at different times and in varied locations over recent years. These are woven together with compositional fragments and a text written and spoken by the artist that reflects on the climate crisis and proposes listening as a form of solidarity, care and activism.

Karikis’ monologue, recorded in Lisbon, describes a youth protest against climate change that the artist joined in 2019. Swept up by the crowd and enfolded in rushing waves of noise, Karikis tunes in to the sonic activity of socio-political change – the chants, shouts, drums and whistles – and the transformative power of communal voice.

Protest chants merge with choral recordings performed by primary school children and the Liverpool Socialist Singers whose collective whispers, hisses and gasps for breath fluctuate between a sense of crowded human presence, existential urgency and the sonics of a tumultuous and foreboding weather system.

Voice by Mikhail Karikis, Lisbon, April 2021.
Dawn chorus fields recording, London, April 2020.
Liverpool Socialist Singers, Liverpool, March 2020. Extract of a recording appearing in "Ferocious Love”, 2020, by M. Karikis, commissioned by Tate Liverpool and Birmingham City University.
Climate protest, Luxembourg City, March 2019
Year 3, Mayflower Primary School, London, May 2018, extract of a recording appearing in “No Ordinary Protest”, 2018, by M. Karikis commissioned by Whitechapel Gallery.

LaBelle, B., Sonic Agency: Sound and Emergent Forms of Resistance, (Goldsmiths Press: London) 2018.
Safran Foer, J., We Are The Weather: Saving the Planet Begins at Breakfast, (Hamish Hamilton: UK, USA, Canada, Australia, India, New Zealand, South Africa), 2019.
Bernard Lynch, Easter email message, 2021.

Artist Biography
Mikhail Karikis is a Greek-British artist, working and exhibiting internationally. His work in sound, moving image and performance develops site-specifically through collaborations mostly with communities located outside the context of contemporary art and, in recent years, with children, teenagers, young adults and people with disabilities. He employs listening, communal sound-making and video to question the power dynamics between the visible and the unheard and as forms of care and activism. His projects highlight alternative modes of human action and solidarity, while nurturing critical attention, dignity and tenderness.

Karikis has exhibited in leading museums and biennials worldwide. Solo exhibitions include ‘Ferocious Love’, Tate Liverpool (2020); ‘For Many Voices’, MIMA, Middlesbrough; ‘Children of Unquiet’, Tate St Ives; ‘I Hear You’, De la Warr Pavilion, Bexhill-on-Sea; MAM Screen, MORI Art Museum, Tokyo (all 2019-20); ‘Children of Unquiet’, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Torino (2019); ‘No Ordinary Protest’, Whitechapel Gallery, London (2018-19); ‘The Chalk Factory’, Aarhus 2017 European Capital of Culture (2017). He has shown at 54th Venice Biennale, (2011), IT; Manifesta 9, Genk (2012); 19th Sydney Biennale, (2014); 2nd Kochi-Muziris Biennale (2016) and MediaCity Seoul (2015). He is professor at MIMA School of Art & Design.

This work can be listened to at home but we recommend listening with headphones whilst walking and spending time outdoors.

Part of 'In the open' – Series II

Mastering by Stephan Mathieu /
Schwebung Mastering.
Design by Maeve Redmond.