Rafael Cañete Fernández

June 2019

Rafael Cañete Fernández was born in 1988, Barcelona, Spain. Based in Copenhagen, Denmark, he received his MA in Music as an Interdisciplinary Art and BA in Fine Arts University. He is interested in the use of sound, voice and text as a merging point between reality, fiction, experience and memory. He usually works using recorded sound as a central element of his artworks. The strength of these works is not necessarily in its acoustic dimension and the experience of the sound itself, but in its social and personal content.

He explains the purpose behind his projects as follows: ” The projects developed during my residency in Kooshk are expressions of the relationship between myself and the soundscape (understanding soundscape as the acoustic environment perceived by the human being). I arrived to Tehran with the idea of exploring its soundscape, idea that was already discarded few hours after arriving. The city presented itself as a challenge: How to adjust myself to a big, chaotic and highly noise-polluted city? How to approach it since Tehran’s rhythm and my own one are completely desynchronized? How to use something that I highly dislike as an artistic material?

These questions are trying to find answers from two perspectives. The first one pretends to embrace this dislikeness, to expose my thoughts about the city itself and about our emotional incompatibility. Some dialogues emerge from this incompatibility, dialogues around one specific concept: the intersection. The intersection between me and the city. Between its perpetual movement and my slow-paced rhythm. Between its multilayered noise and my inner stillness. Between two perpendicular streets and my fear while crossing them. A crossroad, as a form of intersection, is a physical expression of this rare dialogue. A meeting point that is simultaneously agreement, accident and resolution.

On the other side, there was the possibility of running away from Tehran looking for its acoustic opposite: the desert. The desert as a place of reconnection and appreciation of time. The desert was for me a place to explore the nature of silence, and a place to challenge John Cage’s ideas about it. As David Revill wrote in Cage’s biography The roaring silence: “Possibly, Cage was hearing tinnitus.Tehran ended up being a starting point of an exploration of silence, experience and emotion. The projects presented here are the outcome of this exploration.”