The architect Hugh A. Stubbins saw his Kongresshalle, with the auditorium as its centerpiece, as the embodiment of freedom of speech and opinion. The theme of Manglano-Ovalle’s installation is the influence of acoustic and spatial staging on the power of the spoken word. On the stage in the middle of the empty auditorium stands a microphone, accessible to all visitors. However, instead of amplifying, it absorbs speech and sends it unedited to an Internet archive which collects the plurality of voices to be publicly heard all over the world.
Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle (*1961 in Spain) is internationally recognized for his activist-inspired public art and studio-based works. He received numerous awards including a Guggenheim Fellowship (2009) and a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship (2001). Recently he has presented major projects at The Power Plant, Toronto (2011), Kunstwerke, Berlin (2011), The Art Institute of Chicago (2011), Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (2009), Documenta XII, Kassel (2007). He is professor of Art Theory & Practice at Northwestern University, Chicago.