Vitrine Gallery 2015
Mute Rehearsal’ investigates the relationship between body, surface and displacement through its manifestation in speech and design. The work explores the cultural obsession we have with how women speak and move, honing in on mannerisms and linguistic trends considered undesirable, such as vocal fry – the engagement of the lowest vocal register.
The social policing of the female body is multi-layered and complex to unpick. In recent years there has been a serge of online communities that have been set up to empower women though voice, body and gesture. Instagram and other online forums are filled with raw food and finesses bloggers which promote the scrutiny and refinement of the body as the root of identity and form of feminine empowerment. I find this method of empowerment and problematic and can be potentially disempowering as women focus the their value and sense of worth on their body rather than action. Speech and gesture combine as an interface to examine our multi- faceted relationship to design syntax, as an instance of technology and flesh.
Text and sound and imagery overlapped within the exhibition space, creating an elaborate layering of bodies, narrative and surface. These visual, habitual and sonic experiences are in a fluid dialogue with each other, creating a muted depiction of speech, misunderstanding and the mouth as a space of consumption and exchange.
‘Mute Rehearsal’ is generously supported by Arts Council England. With thanks to Chisenhale Art Place for their additional support.