“Voicing Pieces allows you to discover the stranger in yourself, that “je est un autre” – I is somebody else. It’s magical and unforgettable!”
“A long journey, although it doesn’t last more than half an hour, which ultimately brings you back home to yourself, to your own voice. And never again will it sound like it did before. Magical.”
In Voicing Pieces, Begüm Erciyas explores the political and poetic power of the voice and the act of speaking. In the seclusion of a soundproof hut, you are given a simple script and become a spectator to your own voice. The act of simultaneously speaking and listening leads to a theatrical and choreographic experience that is created afresh with every participant. The voice is dissociated from the body. It becomes a place for action, a surprise, a performance.
Is your own voice not always misleading and uncomfortable? Rather than finding yourself again in the stranger, Voicing Pieces invites you to discover and embrace the stranger in yourself. A liberating experience.
From the jury report:
The Turkish artist Begüm Erciyas, a biologist and choreographer by training, provided one of the best experiences of the year with his Voicing Pieces. In this one-on-one installation, you and your voice play the leading role. In a space are three sound booths and inside a script which you have to read out loud using a microphone attached to your headphone. The sentences and words look simple enough, but after a while your words are ‘choreographed’ more and more emphatically.
Faster, slower, louder, quieter… While you are reading out loud and following the instructions on the paper, what you say is manipulated live by several technicians. They duplicate your voice, make it sound like a slurring drunkard or a long-drawn-out echo. What is extraordinary is the extent to which your speech is conditioned by what you hear. It is all too easy to become completely disoriented.
Erciyas alienates you from one of the most intimate parts of your personality, your voice. The effect is extraordinary and also quite uncanny. In this play you are performer and implementer, speaker and listener, a person and a character. Erciyas’ layered approach shows how the two positions converge, and with that choreographic and auditive game she inevitably also says something about what speaking means in a social and political context.
At the same time Voicing Pieces casts a critical look at how detached from ourselves we are in an age when we all hold digital alter egos and technological interfaces separate us from our deepest thoughts and desires. Voicing Pieces allows you to discover the stranger in yourself, that “je est un autre” – I is somebody else. It’s magical and unforgettable!