First GASP! Art Project

The first GASP! art project, a sound piece, by Scottish artist Susan Philipsz will be launched by the Premier Lara Giddings.

The first GASP! art project, a sound piece, by Scottish artist Susan Philipsz will be launched by the Premier Lara Giddings on the GASP! Boardwalk at 11am, January 16.

“I like that there board walk is tidal and that the small rivulets that run out under the boardwalk are merged and submerged with the harbour at different times of the day.” — Susan Philipsz

The Waters Twine (2013) takes inspiration from James Joyce’s 1929 audio recording of the chapter Anna Livia Plurabelle from his then forthcoming novel Finnegans Wake. The recording was set to music by composer Hazel Felman based on the pitch of Joyce’s voice in the key of D. Philipsz had a vibraphone player record the music, but asked him to record each tone from the score separately, so that the music is deconstructed and sounds fragmented. The individual notes play from the underside of the boardwalk and are projected out into the bay.

The chapter Anna Livia Plurabelle is said to be the most musical of Joyce’s writings. The text is full of alliteration and onomatopoeia, composite words that have several meanings in one. Joyce merged hundreds of river names into the text of the chapter to give it a flow and a rhythm that was reminiscent of moving water. Susan wanted to capture this ebb and flow in the sound work and have the recordings projected out on top of actual moving water. In the final lines of the book there is a majestic ending when he describes the freshwater of the river rushing to the point where it meets the salt water of the sea. “I like that there board walk is tidal and that the small rivulets that run out under the boardwalk are merged and submerged with the harbour at different times of the day.” Susan Philipsz, 2013.

The Waters Twine (2013) will be shown throughout MONA FOMA (January 16-20) from 10am to 7pm daily. A further schedule will be announced soon.

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