Monday, 14 December 2009

The Sound of Drumming

Sitting in the darkened room, now emptied of delegates, we're waiting to begin 'The Loneliness of the Long Distance Diva', an artwork in progress by Carol Leeming. The chairs are set and candles are lit...what are we waiting for? Strange how the simple movement of chairs and dimming of lights creates an entirely different space. The air infused with candlelight and inscense, evocative and dreamlike, the space becomes ethereal, like a cathedral. Immediately upon entry, the chatter of the delegates stops. We are expectant in our silence.

A drum speaks in it's visuality and it's sounded voice. She speaks through the drum, uses it as an extension of herself. It is another limb.

Then light and words bring her human voice into the frame. Backgrounded by quiet drum-taps, the Long Distance Diva speaks of ownership, of energy and of what she is made. She is herself and that self is energy. Still in dark we are, vision muted in favor of sound.

Light bursts in upon us from the screen. Voice remains, but now the motion of the artist becomes less shadowy. Her body is part of her media, illustrative and demonstrative.

Something ritual is here, enacted for us today in media modern and most ancient. Within the self we are - our perceptions are based in our configurations. Thus we mirror and are mirrored by all creation. This moment, this now, can never be captured, not here, for this is a solitary author, in another medium. Nor can it be captured in video or image or sound. It is its now...any recording is another artwork. The material becomes intangible, is lost in ephemerality...becomes memory, and drifts off into time.

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