Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Queer Voice!

Philadelphia has been riding out a serious heat wave! Sweltering!

So, after walking six city blocks to the ICA I was melting, and opening the door to the Institute of Contemporary Art and getting a blast of air conditioning was heaven. One minute I was melting and the next minute I was standing in Super Man's Fortress of Solitude. 

I happen to get there about 1:30 in the afternoon, and by some strange coincidence I was there alone. Amazing! There was no peeking over shoulders or waiting my turn, each part of the exhibit was all mine. In the words of the ICA - Presenting video, installation, and audio works, this group exhibition foregrounds the voice as a material in contemporary art—in particular, a queered voice. Manipulated, mediated, or otherwise affected, the voice present in these works both signals a disengagement with gender norms and with everyday conventions of communication.
So it was all about voices that are different (in part of the exhibit, you can listen to your own voice as if you were a machine or robot, I sang a verse of It's Raining Men... I WAS there alone after all. Then much to the security guard's amusement I started saying Exterminate, exterminate, exterminate like a Dahlek.) All my antics aside the experience pushed me to really focus on each voice as if listening to it in a crowded room. That exercise, made me use listening muscles that I didn't know I had. 

This exhibit ends on August 1st, 2010, so if you haven't seen (heard it) get in there soon.


  1. Sounds amazing. Voice is so so interesting.

    And It's Raining Men! I love it. I bet you made the guard's day!


  2. I loved John Kelly as Joni Mitchell--so strange but sincere. Also listening to Andy Warhol's voice--whiny but in a totally knowing way...