Sonia Leber & David Chesworth
Unseen Light: Prologue (Split open the atom in ourselves), 2019.
Performance with archival reel-to-reel tapes, var. 20 minutes.
Supported by Creative Victoria and Multisonics
‘Lifelessness’ performance program
6 - 8 pm Monday 17 June 2019
Level 1, 225 Bourke Street Melbourne
Part of the Ventriloquy exhibition at Gertrude Contemporary, presented in association with Liquid Architecture
Curator Joel Stern
Sonia Leber & David Chesworth’s current project Unseen Light emerges from a collection of over 90 hours of séance tapes, purchased from a deceased estate. These high quality reel-to-reel tapes were intimately recorded by a New Zealand family in Auckland, and later Australia, between 1958 and 1972.
The performance for Ventriloquy is in the form of a Prologue, presenting the actuality materials of some of the séances, but not in the final form of the artwork. The voices are both one and many. The channeller variously receives, re-voices and connects with people and conscious states beyond the material living. The séances included regular visitations from deceased relatives, doctors, scientists, spirit guides and singing children, with personal descriptions of life ‘in the spaceways’.
This was the era when space exploration and technological advances in satellite communication triggered renewed interest in voice communication with other worlds. As satellites were being launched into orbit, live TV communications became possible across the globe, radio telescopes listened for alien transmissions, and medical scans revealed hidden structures in the brain and body. As people of that era witnessed rapid technological change, many believed that scientific advances would inevitably also connect living humans with spirit worlds beyond our own.