The Gracious Ones
Sound Installation (Nov-Dec 2022)
For two months, EXC Dorothea Schlegel Artist-in-Residence Sophie Seita installed a sound piece at the EXC Temporal Communities Cluster.
The Gracious Ones is a philosophical ballet for three voices on metaphorical treadmills. The sound piece forms part of a larger body of work, which will consist of three screen-printed fabric sculptures that ‘speak’ and ‘sing’ at an imaginary banquet. Loosely based on Plato’s Symposium, where notable philosophers participate in a contest of spontaneous speeches, Sophie Seita’s piece adds a more personal and queer spin. Her three characters debate and praise love in cheeky speeches, melancholy songs, and obsessive monologues, stealing liberally from correspondence, literary sources, and each other.
The collaged and procedural sound piece creates a polyphonic chorus in action that touches on questions around ambition, beauty, desire, and disappointment. Chatting away, repeating themselves, talking over each other, the figures also muse on the process of making art and always return to love in all its glorious, ridiculous, and embarrassing too-muchness or sometimes too-littleness. The fictional voices run from and towards themselves in a circuit of misreading and mishearing, tender vulnerability and feisty nonchalance. Who gets to speak and who will care to listen?
The Gracious Ones (2022), 24:06”
Concept, text, artistic direction, and voice: Sophie Seita
Audio production and mixing: Rupert Clervaux
A 6-min extract is available to listen to here: