Rethinking the image
Commissioned by Perth Festival, 2021
Artists: Mayma Awaida, Tony Sarre
Your head pivots, trying to follow the elusive echo of voices which dance around the room. One light, brassy note flirtatiously chimes from the corner, ringing melodically in your ears. Its vibrations sing, itching your skin and sitting heavy in your sinus. The air feels cool and sticky with salt against your cheek. It tastes blue. With hand outstretched you lean to touch, pulling into existence a weighty, gritty object, and breaking any illusion that the space around you is one of emptiness.
In a three-part audio piece, Rethinking the image draws from Erin Coates’ exhibition at Goolugatup Heathcote Alluvial Gold and leads with a blind perspective to navigate space using atmospheric sound, description, and conversation.
Even in its terming, ‘visual’ arts there is an implicit bias that sight is the predominant way of interacting with and understanding art. Blindness subverts these assumptions, generating the possibility for alternative and experimental readings wherein audio description can function as its own creative form, transforming our capacity for communication.
Each part of Rethinking the image represents a unique dimension of experience that interact to build a palpable sense of movement and stillness, what is tangible and intangible, ephemeral and static.
Part I: Whale song in gold
Part II: Space in soliloquy
Part III: Beckoning for closeness