Wander off the straight path and into a sensuous and musical universe of hi-fi equipment, smashed vinyl records and sound fragments from various music genres in ARKEN's recent acquisition THE MAGIC OF.

Vinyl-terror & -horror, THE MAGIC OF, 2018. ARKEN Museum of Modern Art. Photo: Lea Bolvig

The roar of two speakers crashing together. The sound of a stylus scratching over an LP. An old piano, smashed vinyl records, innumerable cables, theatre spotlights and an ensemble consisting of soprano, tenor, flute, cello, violin, drums, and harmonium. The impressions are many in the artist duo’s installation THE MAGIC OF, which is currently on display at ARKEN for the first time since the museum acquired the work in 2018.

One composition, two versions

The confusion of cables and technology, of sound and smoke covers a larger context: The work presents two versions of the same sound composition. The original composition consists of adapted sound fragments from vinyl records, which the artists have cut up and rearranged into new constellations. Thus, the composition contains an extensive remix of sound from various epochs and music genres including everything from opera, German Schlager and classic music to disquieting sounds taken from horror films. The complex sound composition is subsequently transcribed and recorded by an ensemble. In the video collage that appears in extension of the installation, the performing musicians alternately enter and exit the image.

With precision and timing, the two versions are played simultaneously while the installation’s wealth of hi-fi-equipment, video sequences and sculptural features act together to portray and visualize the sound composition and invite the visitor to move around and experience the installation’s movement, lights and sound sys­tems.

The contrasting transformation from the original composition of cut-up vinyl records to the instrumental recording is evident. At the same time, the two versions complement each other in the exhibition, where the visitor can follow the two sound tracks in parallel. The title of the work reflects the artists’ recycling of older vinyl records. The artists have borrowed the title THE MAGIC OF from an album by the English organist Reginald Dixon: The Magic Of Reginald Dixon (Organ Favourites From “Mr. Blackpool”), from which the artists also extract sound.


Detail, Vinyl -terror & -horror, THE MAGIC OF, 2018, ARKEN Museum of Modern Art. Photo: Anders Sune Berg

Detail, Vinyl -terror & -horror, THE MAGIC OF, 2018. ARKEN Museum of Modern Art. Photo: Anders Sune Berg

About the artists

Behind Vinyl -terror & -horror are the two Danish artists Camilla Sørensen (b. 1978) and Greta Christensen (b. 1977). The artists began their collaboration as students at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. Today they live and work in Berlin. The artist duo operates in the intersection between visual art and music, and their artistic practice spans from collage, sculpture and installation to album releases and concerts. The characteristic common to their works is that sound and sculpture are always inseparable. Thus, significance arises primarily in the interaction – and the contrasts – between the auditory and visual components.

A new highlight in ARKEN’s collection

For almost 17 years, the artist duo has been smashing and manipulating vinyl records and hi-fi equipment to rearrange and compose the elements into new, surprising sound sequences and narratives. THE MAGIC OF is the culmination of the artists’ multi-year experimental work with the vinyl record. The artwork was first shown at the artist duo’s extensive solo exhibition The Magic of Vinyl, Terror & Horror held at Den Frie Centre of Contemporary Art in 2018. Subsequently, ARKEN acquired the work for the museum’s collection with the generous support of The Agency for Culture and Palaces.

The artwork is not on display at the moment.


The work is not on display at the moment.