wtorek, 2 maja 2023

Deep Sound in Vilnius


Sappho, 29a

+ new version of "Commentator"

Surface is enough

Swallow Gallery

Vitebsko g. 23, Vilnius

from 19/05

Two pieces by Grupa Budapeszt will be part of a split exhibition with Jakub Czyszczoń.

Deep sound - that's all that's left of the Sapphic stanza numbered 29a, like any other, built on the principle: three lines of eleven syllables and one line of five syllables. Most of Sappho's work is lost, most likely forever. Papyri were deliberately burned or used to wrap mummies. Those that survived suffered a natural process of disintegration. What remains of fragment 29a may suggest that the poem was a description of a ritual that included music. Perhaps the words were part of narration referring to sounds performed on aulos - a double wooden flute. Or the other way around - maybe deep sound referred to the musical performance of the very poem itself, for which - like other poems by Sappho - it was intended. Or even more - maybe the written words of the poem are its performance. 

Grupa Budapeszt operates in a narrow space between glossary, commentary and translation of audiovisual materials. With this work, the group adds a couple of more: reconstruction and transposition. Reconstructing the original content of Sappho's poem is impossible, and perhaps also unintentional. Unless we take it seriously that after fragment 29a only a deep sound is left. So what remains of the poem is not only what is written, but also what goes beyond the notation - the sound, the deep sound of its performance. If so, everything seems a bit easier. The unique space in which the poem resounds needs to be reconstructed – one would like to say: its architecture needs to be reconstructed – in this case, the room of Swallow gallery in Vilnius. 

We approach the deep sound as a synecdoche - part meaning whole. This assumption, together with the regular meter of the Sapphic stanza, allowed for the discovery of spatio-rhythmical relationships between meanings. Lyricism is a record of sounds - a score that assumes performance. Hence, the exhibition also included a flat model of space. It is both a record of a resounding stanza and a transposition of its third verse. The exhibition is a poem which is a non-verbal spatial structure. It is a radical realization of the Objectivists' project: poem as voice as object.

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