William Pope.L., associate professor in the Department of Visual Arts, brought his sound performance art project “Whispering Campaign” to Greece and Germany as part of the acclaimed international art exhibition documenta 14. During the 100 days of documenta, the project broadcast more than 9,000 hours of spoken material to reflect on current issues facing the continent of Europe.
Pope.L: “Being on location in both Athens and Kassel, Germany was vital for a project such as mine, which dealt with issues of environmental audio, site-specific performance and collaboration. I cannot imagine rehearsing and recording performers, choosing performance sites and soaking up the sonic character of each city without physically being there.
“One interesting moment was a stacked, or group, performance we did for six hours on top of the Acropolis. The text we used was pre-recorded in three languages: German, Greek and English.
“My thinking changed almost every day. More specifically, I realized that it’s only natural to be uncomfortable in a foreign country. This can seem a deficit, but I believe this discomfort can have a positive value. The foreigner’s point of view is frequently wrong, but it ‘sees’ things, as it were, freshly wrong.
“In art, that can be very useful.”
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