Hearsay of the Soul



Hearsay of the Soul — 2012
5-Channel-Video Installation by Werner Herzog
Music by Ernst Reijseger
Sound Installation by Stefan Winter

»Hearsay of the Soul« is film director Werner Herzog’s first video art installation. Projected on 3 adjacent walls and 18 minutes in length, the 5-channel video combines selected landscape etchings by Hercules Segers (Dutch, about 1589–about 1638) with the contemporary avant-garde music of composer/cellist Ernst Reijseger (Dutch, born 1954). The juxtaposition of Segers’s lush prints of enigmatic vistas with Reijseger’s expressive and experimental music results in a richly layered work that is both intimate and epic.

»Hearsay of the Soul« continues the cinematic concerns—evocative landscapes, sensuous experiences—that are hallmarks of Herzog’s prior films and documentaries. Known primarily as a film director, Herzog favors an approach that invites introspection and rapt attention over strictly linear storytelling.
The music and soundscapes are produced, directed and mixed by Stefan Winter. Winter integrates environmental noises, signals, sounds and music. The music is composed and performed by Ernst Reijseger besides Georg Friedrich Händel’s »Dank sei dir Gott«, performed by Emmi Leisner.
2011 Werner Herzog videotaped parts of the Stefan Winter’s recording session with Ernst Reijseger (cello) and Harmen Fraanje (church organ). The video work with the title »Ode to the Dawn of Man« is part of the installation.

Photos © CCA Watts Institute for Contemporary Arts / Werner Herzog

Music available on CD and to download:
Ernst Reijseger »Requiem for a Dying Planet« (Winter & Winter, 2006)
Ernst Reijseger »Cave of Forgotten Dreams« (Winter & Winter, 2011)

Originally commissioned by the Whitney Biennial (an exhibition of contemporary American art in New York) in 2012

2012 : Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum, N.Y.C. (U.S.A.)
2013/2014 : Paul Getty Museum, L.A. (U.S.A.)
2015 : Wallraf-Richartz-Museum, Köln