Songs So Far (Emotions)
30 Sep–28 Dec 2021
Emotions is an experimental song-poem in which the artist inhabits multiple voices, perspectives and temporalities, in an expansive exploration and narration of ancestral familial ties, the epigenetic impacts of trauma, and the trials of individuals swept up by the forces of history, institutions, and the places in which they live.
Jennifer Hickinbotham, Emotions, 2021. Sound, 3:20min.
Musician Credits: Jenny Hickinbotham lyrics and vocals, Steph Treesea Ukulele and vocals, James Rushford electric organ and vocals, recorded and produced by Joel Stern. Recorded 2nd August 2021. Courtesy the artists
Every year since 2014 Blindside has invited Liquid Architecture to organise an exhibition under the banner ‘Sound Series’ by artists working in experimental ways with sound and listening. There have been some incredible shows by Anthony Riddell, Félicia Atkinson, Gerard Crewdson, Matt Earle and Bridget Chappell among others.
Songs so far by artist and writer Jenny Hickinbotham will be exhibited at Blindside 6-23 April 2022.
This program takes place on the land of the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We recognise that sovereignty was never ceded - this land is stolen land. We pay respects to Wurundjeri Elders, past, present and emerging, to the Elders from other communities and to any other Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders who might encounter or participate in the program.
Jenny Hickinbotham’s work encompasses writing, video, sculpture, and more recently, her unadorned singing voice, deployed with humour and pathos, in order to tell stories, and to channel and share the emotional experiences reflected in her life. Her art is informed by Hickinbotham’s own experience as someone diagnosed with schizophrenia, who has ‘heard voices’ for most of her life, and the institutional pathologization of these experiences. The struggle to understand these voices, listen and give meaning to them, and to consider their relation to the ghosts of our past and present, is a preoccupation of her work.
Active since 2000, Liquid Architecture is a Naarm (Melbourne) based organisation supporting experimental, interdisciplinary and critical work addressing sound and listening in context.
Joel Stern is a curator, researcher, and artist living and working on Wurundjeri land in Melbourne, Australia.
Stern’s work deals with a range of issues, themes and questions connected with theories and practises of sound and listening. Interests include: sound, power and control; covert listening and panacoustic surveillance; polyphony as social practice; experimental music and community ritual; speech, voice, subjectivity; eavesdropping and ventriloquism; techno-politics of machine listening; rhetorics of nonsense and bullshit; pandemic soundscapes; acoustic justice; silence as testimony; post, trans, and non-human listening.
Since 2013, Stern has been Artistic Director at Liquid Architecture, a leading Australian organisation that creates spaces for sonic experience and critical listening at the intersection of contemporary art and experimental music. In this capacity he has been responsible for hundreds of festivals, symposia, exhibitions, concerts and publications realised in Australia and internationally, with collaborators ranging from major museums and institutions through to community organisations and artist-led initiatives.
In addition to Liquid Architecture, Stern has led numerous independent organisations including: OtherFilm, a collective working with artists moving image and the legacy of avant-garde cinema; and Instrument Builders Project, a workshop, residency, exhibition series featuring artists, musicians and craftspeople from across Australia and Asia.
In 2018, with critical legal scholar James Parker, Stern curated Eavesdropping, an expansive project connecting Liquid Architecture, Melbourne Law School, Ian Potter Museum of Art, and City Gallery Wellington, which comprised exhibitions, public programs, working groups, tours, and a publication, addressing the ‘politics of listening’ through work by artists, researchers, writers, detainees and activists from Australia and around the world. Stern’s PhD thesis ‘Eavesdropping: The Politics, Ethics, and Art of Listening’ was completed through the Curatorial Practice program at Monash University, where he also teaches on sonic art.