how to pass through a door


Archival images courtesy Jencks Foundation.

“Tenderness, personalises everything to which it relates, making it possible to give
it a voice, to give it the space and the time to come into existence, and to be
expressed. […] It appears wherever we take a close and careful look at another
being, at something that is not our ‘self’.”

Olga Tokarczuk

Part of the permanent collection how to pass through a door a sound installation
resulting from a year-long research residency
at the invitation of the Jencks Foundation at the Cosmic House.

More about the project HERE

Curatorial Conversations The Warburg Institute Podcast

What is the role of chance in excavating the archive, allowing for randomness, slippage
and closed eyes when nothing fits and finding threads doesn’t lead anywhere.
The process of of being addicted to searching begins to haunt the intention for
clarity, and resonance while confronted by yet another full cupboard, drawer, box, case,
file, notebook, envelope, page. how to pass through a door – my latest sound
installation, has been conceived as a tribute to Maggie Keswick Jencks and her
contribution to designing, managing and collaborating with her husband Charles Jencks
on the transformation (1978 to 1983) of their family home, known as The Cosmic House.
By placing the voice at the centre of the project, the house acts like a well tempered
instrument accelerating its most recent transition from a former home to its current
museum status. If we lack recordings of conversations between the original inhabitants,
or rather if these cannot be found for now, the project attempts to assemble such exchanges
in the act of listening. Deciphering a person’s hand-writing often presents a difficulty,
while the voice, once it’s been heard secures an immediate recognition.
The installation consists of two audio recordings strategically positioned at the
Spring Room and Maggie’s Study, connecting the imaginary with the actual in a quest of
finding a proper place where representations are embedded rather than imposed.
The voice can never be mistaken for another, it forever belongs to a person and beckons
its owner into being. The sound of that voice, now part of the permanent collection of
the Cosmic House, has become the site of a new narrative led by Maggie Keswick, allowing
her cultural contribution to be acknowledged.

Hear Maggie Keswick

how to pass through a door


Exhibition at The Cosmic House

10 Oct 2022 – 8 Sept 2023

Curated by Eszter Steierhoffer, Director Jencks Foundation

The Spring Room, Maggie Keswick’s voice – sound loop duration 14’41”

Maggie Study, Ella Finer’s notebook voicing – sound loop duration 16′ 02″

Script: Marysia Lewandowska

Sound design: Robert Jack

Voicing: Ella Finer

Copy editing: Wing Chan

Digitalisation: Paul Turney