Marc Schmitz + Dolgor Ser-Od
The artists have separate practices, but they have collaborated on Siren. Dolgor Ser-Od works both in the traditional Mongolian style of miniature painting, and other painting styles, as well as with installation and land art. Marc Schmitz’s art is concerned with the openness of space, and he uses a variety of media and materials to find and interpret unclaimed or contested public space(s). He is drawn to spatial relationships as an expression of both personal and shared-cultural memory. His work is oriented toward the public realm, is collaborative more than ‘interactive,’ relies on ethnographic and art-historical research, and utilises both contemporary and historical forms. The artists live in Berlin and Ulan Bator.
Together, when they visited Folkestone to research their contribution to the 2017 Triennial, the artists were intrigued both by the beauty and the redundancy of the technology of the concrete ‘listening ears’ (early warning acoustic mirrors) at nearby Denge (Dungeness).
Siren is a riposte to those structures. It is intended to evoke an unfamiliar technology, as if it has ‘landed from space’. Like the acoustic mirrors, the horn shape of Siren is capable of amplifying sound coming from far away, but adds the possibility of ‘speaking back’ by also functioning as a megaphone. Siren gathers the noise of the waves (like a sea shell) and is also a reminder of the fog horn that until recently sounded from the Harbour Arm Lighthouse.
While the word ‘siren’ is most familiar in relation to the klaxon, a machine to produce a warning noise. The location of the sculpture overlooking Folkestone Harbour is also a reminder of the ‘sirens’ in Greek mythology who lured sailors to their deaths through the beauty of their songs.
purpose of raising awareness about sustainability, nomadic culture, ecological decentralisation and democracy by means of contemporary art.