2 channel video, 5 channel audio, 37 minutes
For Almost Always Everywhere Apparent (II), Leber and Chesworth selected elements of their earlier work and embedded them in the reverberant stairwell at Govett-Brewster Gallery. A phantasmagoria of human voices travels throughout the stairwell, suggesting an upper heavenly space as much as the lower confines of a prison. We hear cultured, singing voices that at times are heavily codified, but they also exhibit a kind of unfettered voice-play that delights in making sound rather than making speech. From below, we hear raw singular outbursts of straining and physical effort.
Leber and Chesworth have an abiding fascination and belief that certain architectural forms have the capacity to act on us in ineffable ways, stimulating our senses and changing the nature of our behaviour as individuals. These architectural forms (the cave, the tunnel, the temple, the hut, the stairwell, the turret, amongst others) are effective in that they have the capacity to make certain spiritual and secular 'fictions' manifest.
The project is partly inspired by Jeremy Bentham's 'panopticon' prison design which philispopher Michel Foucault refers to as a 'laboratory of power...without any physical instrument other than architecture and geometry, it acts directly on individuals.'
Stealing The Senses, Govett-Brewster Gallery, New Plymouth, New Zealand (2011). The original artwork was the 2007 Helen Macpherson Smith Commission at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA) in Melbourne.
View full project details for original project
'The exhibition’s highlight, this sound installation combines devotional mysticism from above with earthier, body generated grunts, moans and squeals (apparently from genuine surprise, pleasure and pain) from below...Leber and Chesworth’s use of the narrow fire exit staircase is particularly striking... The installation capitalises on the enormous height above the descending carpeted steps, with unsettling dreamlike images projected on to the top and bottom end walls, and haunting choral music that makes brilliant use of the cathedral-like ambience.'
- John Hurrell, 'Immersing the Body in Art and Architecture', EyeContact, New Zealand, April 2011