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Sounds from Beneath (2011-12)

Mikhail Karikis

stereosound and HD single channel video

Worcester City Art Gallery & Museum



Moving Image




6 minutes 49 seconds minutes


Presented by the Contemporary Art Society, 2015/16

Ownership history:

Purchased by the Contemporary Art Society, 2015; presented to Worcester City Art Gallery & Museum, 2015/16


Political, Strike
As a continuation of the artist’s explorations of marginalised communities, Mikhail Karikis’s sound piece and video collaboration with Uriel Orlow Sounds from Beneath (2011-2012), first shown at Manifesta 9, centres on a disappearing community of former coal miners in Kent. For the piece, Karikis asked the Snowdown Colliery Male Voice Choir to vocalise the industrial sounds of a former coalmine based on their memories. The result is a moving ode to an extinct landscape; the industrial chimes and low rumbling hummings attaining a meditative quality as the performance progresses. The miners tell a wordless story of the strength, loss and resolve of a community built through work and song.

The piece is unconventional in that is romantic but also centres on a difficult political theme that has not yet softened despite the passage of time. The mine and its complex history is reawakened as the choir returns to their past, standing in solidarity, grouped in a linear formation before the sunken mine that was once their livelihood. The colliers’ cracked and rough hands mirror the cracks and furrows of the mined earth, further relating their history to the physical landscape.

All rights reserved. Any further use will need to be cleared with the rights holder. Permission granted to reproduce for personal and educational use only. Commercial copying, hiring, lending is prohibited. The collection that owns this artwork may have more information on their own website about permitted uses and image licensing options.

For further information, please consult our section of our copyright policy.

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