Tatiana Trouvé & Grace Hall
Grace Hall: Obsidian Cloud, 2017
This first time collaboration between sculptor and sound artist takes the form of a poetic and fictional map and an installation created out of sound. At the tourist office, a printed map guides visitors to some lesser-known aspects of the region and on an uncanny and disorientating experience for the senses. It takes the form of a guide with five texts relating to five different places. Here, the secret aspects of the region are presented as stations in the exploration of the unknown (Tatiana Trouvé, You Are Here, 2017).
One of these five experiences takes place at the public swimming pool. The map guides the visitors to this destination and the pool functions as a gateway to this unknown world. Beneath the waters of the public swimming pool the familiar intonations of language are interrupted by the swimmers’ breath to create a fragmented poetry of inhalation and exhalation (Grace Hall, Obsidian Cloud, 2017). Underwater we transition momentarily into this secret world. However, it is a world we can only inhabit for the space of a breath.
You Are Here and Obsidian Cloud work synergistically, echoing one another, to create the experience of otherworldly tourism.
This selection of poems explores our desire to perpetuate and protect synchrony across space and time (as opposed to diachrony) – specifically in the case of immigration (traditions, folktales) – and also in one’s own body (principally though apnea). Penetration Dive weaves together traditional the environment, architecture, water collection, Italian folktales, historical battles, falconry, Sicilian lores of divers, the disappearance of Natalia Malchanova, American and Italian immigration. These short prose poems use word play, biology, and humor, to slow down time and disassemble ordinary moments until they act as building blocks that can be synchronized to work as a whole.
It also investigates the return of poetry in visual art exhibitions and the place we allow poetry in these exhibitions. Often, poetry is limited to the page or the reproduction of the page on a flat surface, such as a wall, sidewalk, or painting. But, we know that poetry isn't defined by words (i.e. image poems and sound poems), but by relationships and interconnections (rhyme, rhythm, visual patterns, etc). Synchronicity is particularly present in the slant rhymes, the manipulation of rhythm, and the superposition of narratives that seem related but have no discernable connection outside this work
Grace Hall’s work is strongly influenced by her personal experience: she grew up in a deaf- mute community in Washington’s San Juan Archipelago and her first experience with nonstop chatter was when she attended her last two years of high school in New York City. The artist reacts to this sudden entrance into the city’s never-ending cacophony by constructing works of isolation. She plucks one voice, from her surroundings and invites her public to meet this narrative, this stranger, in an underwater tête-à-tête, on an island made of sound.
The artist began working with water when she moved to Paris, to imitate how the city plunges into silence every morning. Water physically separates the audience from his surroundings, demands a certain commitment and intimacy, and dominates the senses, body, and attention span: the public’s experience of the work is mediated by moxie and lung capacity.
During the last ten years the artist has been collecting detailed biographies, rewriting them into poetry, and constructing pieces for a large underwater biennial (Cycladic Islands, 2017).
Grace Hall (b. 1977, USA) lives and works in Paris, France