The Abject Audio

I have a particular interest in harnessing the Abject within my work, questioning and challenging patriarchal side lining, gender bias that marginalises female gynaecology and illness; such as Endometriosis.

Rarity, Luxury, Necessity
Audio Abject Explorations
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Here is a snippet taken from my final dissertation around the Abject Audio within my work,

I have developed an audio response which attempts to address the same problems that my installation pieces do. As a support group leader I have routinely witnessed first-hand how meetings between groups of women living with Endometriosis are very much a blend between talking through negative and distressing scenarios whilst remaining supportive and poignant, it is as much about sharing and meeting others who are likeminded and who understand than simply offloading problems and fact-finding; furthermore the conversation highlights the realism of illness, the laughter and tears, the jokes and anger; and I wanted to capture this bitter-sweet dichotomy[i].
I recorded meetings (with permissions) and found them abundant with audio exemplifying the way Endometriosis affects the roles to which women fight to maintain, such as a wife, mother and employee; in particular there is a juxtaposition between the discussion topic (surgery and infertility) and the laughter and joyful camaraderie of the voices which somehow serve to both trivialise and challenge that which is taboo; the laughter almost sounding manic and hysterical. These voices inspired and form the back-drop of the audio piece, blending the recognisably humanistic with a cocktail of distorted biology.
For the remainder of the audio layers I have interpreted Kristeva’s theory of abjection and carefully layered sounds, each peaking and falling to confuse and engage the listener into thinking ‘What am I hearing?’ At times the voices are distorted, almost demonic like the ever presence of illness, echoing and monstrous; these are the sounds of the outside, whilst there are hints of rhythmic heartbeat and breathing and the uncomfortable chatter of teeth on teeth; these are the sounds of the inside. The chattering teeth is a deliberate trope to ‘Vagina Dentata’ and the male fear of castration, which Barbara Creed addressed within ‘The Monstrous Feminine’,

“The myth about woman as castrator clearly points to male fears and phantasies about the female genitals as a trap, a black hole which threatens to swallow them up and cut them into pieces” 
There is something eerily unnerving about how these sounds interrelate, at odds with one another, dancing at a rhythmic yet, at times audible and at times inaudible, pace; placing the listener at the edge of reasoning, and at the border edge of what is known to be clean and proper (and safe).

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