Exhibition > Synaesthesia / 4

Synaesthesia / 4

Translating, Correcting, Archiving

Eva-Maria Bolz | Ditte Lyngkær Pedersen | Andy Holtin

Eva-Maria Bolz: Die Innere Monitor, 2013

Ditte Lyngkær Pedersen: Why Is Green a Red Word?, video, 2003 – 2013. Photo: Tim Deussen

Andy Holtin: Connections, video still, 2013

Synaesthesia / 4: Translating, Correcting, Archiving presents works by Eva-Maria Bolz, Ditte Lyngkær Pedersen, and Andy Holtin. The exhibition devotes itself to selected artistic strategies for decoding the phenomenon of synaesthesia. It is significant that all three artists experience different forms of synaesthetic perception.

The term “synaesthesia”, from the Greek “aisthesis” (“Sensation”, “sensory impression”) and “syn” (“together”) means the experience of two or more sensory impressions at the same time. In most cases it is a visual sensation evoked by auditory stimuli. In contemporary art, there is a strikingly strong interest in the coupling of the senses. This should come as no surprise: our daily life in recent years has been subject to ever more multimedia and multisensory experiences (e.g. the latest technological developments in the field of communication).

Eva-Maria Bolz: Der Innere Monitor, 2013

Eva-Maria Bolz: Der Innere Monitor, 2013

Eva-Maria Bolz: Der Innere Monitor, Booklet 2013

The work of the Berlin artist and grapheme synaesthete Eva-Maria Bolz is dedicated to an exploration of the relationship between colour, text and perception. Due to her grapheme synaesthesia she feels an unchanging association of colours to numbers, letters, as well as whole words. Perception becomes a filter through which letters, words – text in itself – are translated into colours and transformed from a set of well-known characters into a message that can be detected by means of a particular synaesthetic sensibility. Her project Der Innere Monitor follows her perception that colours and letters form a specific code through which a text can be translated into blocks of colour. Each letter corresponds to a specific colour. The artist deliberately uses texts that contain intense colour descriptions, such as Oscar Wilde’s The Rose and the Nightingale. In the exhibition Bolz presents five selected texts in the form of large colour plates, further explained in her artist book.

Ditte Lyngkær Pedersen: Why Is Green a Red Word?, video, 2003 – 2013, Photo: Tim Deussen

Ditte Lyngkær Pedersen: Why Is Green a Red Word?, video, 2003 – 2013, Photo: Tim Deussen

Ditte Lyngkær Pedersen:Why Is Green a Red Word?, installation view, 2003 – 2013, Photo: Tim Deussen

Ditte Lyngkær Pedersen: Why Is Green a Red Word?, artist book, 2013, Photo: Tim Deussen

Since 2003, Ditte Lyngkær Pedersen, herself a synaesthete,has created an extensive video archive of interviews about the multi-sensory perception of synaesthesia that documents the experiences of individuals and at the same time make the unbridgeable gap between this topic and the audience clear. Her project Why Is Green a Red Word? is comprised of interviews with synaesthetes and scientists, but also includes conceptual video works such as What the Hell does Purgatory Look Like? and drawings depicting the spatial imagination of number forms by different synaesthetes. Contemporaneous with the exhibition opening will be the publication of Ditte Lyngkær Pedersen’s artist book Why Is Green a Red Word?, designed by Kenan Darwich.

Andy Holtin: Connections, video, 2013

Andy Holtin: Corrections, video still, 2009

Andy Holtin has grapheme synaesthesia, connected with a particular colour-number association. He sees numbers in specific colours, moreover, this is influenced by a partial red-green colour blindness, affecting certain nuances. In his video Corrections (2009) you can see how a hand colours in the numbers of different signs and nameplates in photographs. Corrections demonstrates the gap between the object and subjective sense perception as well as the personal impressions of the artist himself. By speeding up the video, the act of colouring in appears grotesque as the act of artist’s hand achieves a form of slapstick. In his video Connections (2013) the artist examines the complications he experiences when objects share a colour with a particular number due to Holtin’s individual synaesthetic experience, creating an extended perceptual relationship.

Synästhesie – eine theoretische Einführung (.pdf)

Press feedback

gallerytalk.net, 14 July 2013, Zahlen malen und Farben hören – ”Synaesthesia / 4: Translating, Correcting, Archiving” im Art Laboratory Berlin, by Martina John

tageszeitung(taz) 9 July 2013, Definitiv eine pink Sieben, by Catarina von Wedemeyer

Berliner Zeitung, 9 July 2013, Drei plus Zwei = Grün, Ortrun Schütz, Interview with Eva-Maria Bolz

artsHub, 3. Juli 2013, Artist’s brain: the advantage of synaesthesia, by Deborah Stone


Art Laboratory Berlin
Prinzenallee 34, 13359 Berlin

Dates and opening hours

Opening: 31.05.2013, 8 PM
1 June – 21 July, 2013


Regine Rapp & Christian de Lutz


Regine Rapp, Christian de Lutz, Olga Shmakova, Anastasia Shavlokhova, Chiara Cartuccia, Chiara Massari,

Photo documentation

Tim Deussen and Art Laboratory Berlin

Media partners

Supported by

The Danish Arts Council

Our 2013 programme is made possible in part by a generous gift from Michael Schröder

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