Evan Ifekoya

As part of our Wednesday artist talks, Evan Ifekoya did not present to us their most recent works, but rather played us a sound and partial visual piece of things that she is currently thinking about. It looked at what it is to listen and to recenter practice.
Within this piece, there were recognisable songs which some love, and others find torture. The spoken word was also often an animated or robotic woman, but there were also snippets of the spoken word from previous performances. There were hints of music and psychology, but also how the government and the FBI all fitted in.

“with transcendence or surrender”

The music at times reminded me of a detective or murder mystery programme and their introductory songs – just very upbeat, with noises that you do not expect, and yet they fit within.

“They come because they are perverse. We are perverse.”

Acts of perversion include not letting the LGBTQ community have the same rights, pushing lovers away, and it doesn’t matter who you are or where you’re from, your economical or religious status, they will come for the perverse.

“Where will you be when they come?”

Between each spoken piece, and adjoining these together, the sounds and music simply made sense. Within these pieces, she is also able to touch upon some very sensitive subjects in a very new way. For me, it was almost as if you need to acknowledge yourself and your body in order to acknowledge what is happening, and what is being talked about.
A video slowly came into focus a fair way into the audio piece, and showed almost three consecutive frames which made it very slow. The video showed the sea, and specifically the blue-ringed octopus, whereas the audio continued to talk about zombies, who were defined as ‘those who, primarily, are resurrected without a soul’.
The piece moved onto therapists, and how we each are therapists, but we all need help sometimes, including those therapists. Noises from here are crowd-like and slightly psychedelic and disorientating. This was a large juxtaposition to the calm and serene imagery that was on screen. From therapists, to sexual fantasies between two women narrated over clips of sea life, the work that we were shown, was very enlightening into Ifekoya’s thought and work process.
The relationship between the audio and the visual is still something that Ifekoya is figuring out, but she does find them both fascinating. There is a sense of trying to pull away from being a body (visually) in her own artwork, and to be invisible in your surroundings, like the octopus.
Ifekoya uses sound as a sculptural form, often working across five channels. She is interested in the space of sound, and believes that if she exhibited the work that she showed us, she would include soft seating with perhaps a dance floor.
I enjoyed learning about someone’s thought and work process through a piece of work that they had accumulated together. The use of the sound and visuals, with such a high juxtaposition interested me, as even though sensitive subjects were touched upon, I felt less effected because I was watching octopuses. The psychology behind this, I believe, would be very interesting.

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