Once We Were/Light + Labyrinth: Portland, Maine

Once We Were (detail)

Light + Labyrinth: Portland, Maine

Once We Were (detail)

Once We Were

Posted on: May 4, 2016
Views: 2402


Annika Earley‚??s Once We Were and Light + Labyrinth: Portland are two projects that inhabit the inverse of each other‚??s spaces. While the wooden house of Once We Were acts as a space-within-a-space, the site-specific locations of Light + Labyrinth: Portland open up the traditional space of a gallery and exist within the city. The works tread the line between folktale and theory, relying on both to create potential grounds for active and purposeful listening, a practice that Earley believes to be the key to fostering empathy between oneself and the surrounding world. Once We Were features three narratives of the mythological siren as a reminder of the importance of active listening. The symbology at play is visually represented by the stained glass window of the wooden house: Homer‚??s classic sirens, the rabbinic Lilith, and the German, rock-lurking Lorelei appear out of the harmonic hums to tell their stories. Singing vibrates not only the performer, but also the space in which the song is sung. Layered vocals and harmonies support this vibration and envelop the viewer. Through listening, the viewer activates these sounds and becomes part of the work. The Light + Labyrinth project is loosely modeled after the idea of a sculpture garden. Through historical or ecological research as well as careful observation of the experience of specific sites, Earley produces sound pieces that become part of the locations for which they are made. The Light + Labyrinth gardens are magical in that they are invisible until listened to. By diving in and out of the sound pieces through the act of walking from site to site, the listener has the chance to participate in ‚??ear cleaning,‚?Ě an activity of purposeful listening that enhances the perception of the amount of sound through which they move.

Annika Earley

View ProfileConnect

MFA Student

Major: Printmaking

Graduation Year: 2016

Artist Statement:

Printmaking, singing, and working with glass are timeworn practices. Historically, these methods served to share knowledge of one’s culture and history. Through prints, songs, and stained glass, I fuse together folktale narratives and phenomenological theories of perception. In my work, the symbolical values of folk tales serve as recognizable cairns within the landscape of phenomenology.

Layering often transparent materials and textures in both audio and visual work, I strive for a consistent sense of enveloping light and air. Activating multiple sensations plants the viewer firmly within the context of the phenomenology of perception.

In German, the word for story and the word for history are the same: Geschichte. This blurring between the real and the less real is the impetus for my work. My projects are keyholes between these two realms. I build either pavilions within pavilions, or in order to invert space all together.