Sound installation by Carlos Casas in the frame of the project Scala. 

Mutia is an installation created from archive and research materials collected and created while preparing the film Cemetery (2019). In its format as an installation for Scala, Mutia brings together a composition of 13 hours spent in an imaginary jungle that surrounds the cemetery of the mythical elephants on which the film is based. The ambient sound of the jungle heard in Scala coincides with the different moments of the day, and expands the very immersive sensation of the sound landscape’s aesthetic.

Archaeologist David Lewis-Williams is known for his thesis that the origin of pre-historic art could very well have been a response to a neurological pattern. This statement is based on the connections that the author found between religious rituals and states of altered consciousness, as well as the formal similarities between shaman figures made of rock from locations as far flung as Africa and North America. Beyond whether or not he is able to respond to questions such as the origin of rock art, certain is that the value of the conjecture that he has provided lies in its ability to put into play the new and original formation of consciousness, power of images, and systems of beliefs that we humans develop. For Lewis-Williams, the changing nature of human consciousness would be what led people to assume there was another sphere of existence, and not the other way around.

From this perspective, we can find certain analogies with Mutia, Carlos Casas’ proposal for Scala. As an artist committed to audiovisual material, Casas is characterised by his questioning of its physiological power and its ability to capture and give form to the human nervous system. In the artist’s own words, Mutia arises from an exercise where one imagines how a jungle and landscape could sound if it were meant to protect a topographical myth: the elephant cemetery. It would be this desire for composition of place that brings him to create an entire series of sound landscapes and atmospheres based on field recordings, radio-frequency captures, constellations of images, and graphic recordings. The diligence with which the artist develops all of these aesthetic resources would be undeniable proof that he is moved to access this place mentally through imagination. 

It should be recalled that Mutia was first born as an imaginary radio programme whose resonances crossed the jungle, and only later would it become a record, before finally manifesting as a sound installation that uses Tabakalera’s architecture to create a specific version for the space.

Wandering down Tabakalera’s stairs, the public can accompany the artist in his purpose of questioning the relationships that are established between his body and the space that surrounds him, discovering the reproductions of archive materials that inspired and assisted in the artist’s creation process. Questioning culture, myths, and the imaginary constantly give form to this experience, which we could place in a sort of flow that oscillates between the real and imaginary, between the oneiric and the natural, in a kind of ‘tactibility’ of what is seen and heard that would never be fully exempt. In reality, we will be able to choose to stroll through Tabakalera or do so in the jungle itself, checking the reactions produced during this eventual displacement. Passing by, we think about what it means to be present, as well as those shocks and regularities that make up flows of consciousness. Although ultimately, we will also be able to seek refuge in some place in time, attempting to detach ourselves from each and every one of our thoughts.



Length: 13 hours
From Monday to Sunday 9:00 to 22:00
2022/07/14 - 2022/10/23

Sound installation created at the invitation of Tabakalera.
Curated by Oier Etxeberria.
Mix and location sound: Marc Parazon.
Space adaptation and production: Xabier Erkizia.
Thanks to: Chris Watson, Tony Myatt, Joyce Poole, Elena Hill, Krysztof Dabrowsky, Olivier Marbouef, Saodat Ismailova.