Tuesday 24 Oct, 2017
AZ: Fayen, thanks for taking the time to discuss your involvement in Seeing voices. I think audiences are accustomed to exhibitions being quite fixed with a stable list of selected works and an accompanying public program that activates the exhibition. Can you talk about what you have planned for Seeing voices and the way it challenges some of those established museum practices?
FE: I’m working with Bryan Phillips on this project – he is a musician and sound artist who I’ve been collaborating with over several exhibitions, experimenting with ways that sound works can convey a vibrational description or story of our encounters with artworks. Our idea for Seeing voices was to travel to the first site of this exhibition, which will be traveling to several galleries around Australia, and to make a sound work that will describe our experiences of the works in the exhibition – through sonic recordings and an audio essay.
We will think about how the exhibition works interact sonically and spatially, amongst one another, and perhaps within the acoustic and conversational setting of the Horsham Regional Art Gallery. I’m hoping this might establish a conversation with future audiences, who will be experiencing the works in sites with other spatial, social and resonant dynamics, that it might prompt them to think about how they would describe and carry the story of their own encounters. I’m also keen to experiment with close description – myopic description – how focusing attention at very, very close range might open new narratives, details of surfaces and textures perhaps. Of course, its unknown territory at the moment – which is also something I’ve been playing with lately – blundering into the unknown and unfamiliar, and claiming stumbling blindly as a creative process.
AZ: Stumbling blindly is a good way to describe creative process – and it also captures the emphasis in your practices in being alert to the possibilities of other senses, not only sight. How do you intend to display or situate the sonic recordings and audio essay in the galleries?
FE: The plan is to interweave the sonic recordings and narrated essay to shape a sound work, which would be offered as a kind of portable audio guide to the exhibition.
AZ: How do you anticipate audiences will engage with the work?
FE: I hope that audiences receive the work as an invitation to a dynamic conversation or meditation on the exhibition – that each listener would co-create the work in a way, through their way finding in and around space, their perceptual experience, and their voicing of their individual responses. Like a call and re-call.
AZ: Sounds truly intriguing.
Fayen d’Evie and Bryan Phillips’s artwork is in the exhibition Seeing voices touring nationally 2017-2019.