Cacophonic Choir, outside the choir


I’m never at ease in a crowd… I often end up observing people as if they were “other” from me and I often get lost in trying to quantify and shape the thoughts of the people around me. Every time I end up freezing in the face of the certainty of how many dangerous thoughts, of how many truths, of how many pains can be lost in silence and in the fear of unspoken things, while unaware that society swarms towards the next tomorrow. In the interactive sound installation In Cacophonic Choir by Şölen Kıratlı and Hannah E. Wolfe, I found a delicate response to this old and insistent thought of mine: a channel of communication for the many cries for help gathered from that same teeming crowd that I have often imagined. A group of narrative physical objects are arranged in a room. From a distance the viewer can hear a disjointed chorus of fragmented words and distorted voices. It’s only by approaching and coming into direct contact with one of these narrative objects that the viewer is able to hear the complete and understandable story: the testimony of a victim of sexual assault. The artists Hannah Wolfe and Sölen Kiratli have created a very elaborate reporting and awareness system, from the collection of testimonies on the site “The When You’re Ready Project” (open to anyone who wants to tell their own story), to the development of the network algorithms, sensors and materials that gave life to the installation. In addition to the testimony, at the centre of the reflection is certainly the relationship between the listener and the victim: the narrative objects light up, show themselves and resound best in proximity to a listener; little by little as the physical (and human) proximity of the listener disappears, the victim is no longer able to speak and the narration becomes disconnected, filtered and decomposed by interference and interpretation (the media?). The desire is for a clean and safe place where they can be heard and not broken. Benedetta Sabatini


Şölen Kıratlı and Hannah E. Wolfe – Cacophonic Choir