Only Sound Remains

Multi-Media Installation (Ceramic Objects, Video, Sound) 2014

We each experience the world through the prism of our upbringing, our traditions, and the familiar sights and sounds embedded deep within our soul. Only Sound Remains is an installation in which I explore and share those experiences through specific objects, sounds, and video. Eleven ceramic vessels, inspired by the tradition of my ancestors, hide and shape sounds that narrate simple and complex experiences in my life. The sounds range from the bazaar to praying, marching, an explosion, a woman telling a story, and traditional Iranian music. The video in this installation presents images of women speaking on a screen. The women narrate the kinds of stories we tell to one another, while the vessels hold the sounds that we keep to ourselves in a place where memories are processed, packaged, and stored.

The installation is a metaphor for the way in which we experience the world. The vessels represent the selection of experiences represented by sounds that may or may not be fully understood. The viewer must wait to enter the ‘sub-conscious’ of this installation in order to probe it by placing an ear next to the vessels in order to find some inner meaning.

Only Sound Remains has permitted me to create and use a voice that goes beyond immediate media stereotypes of ceramic and other crafts, in order to articulate a deeper meaning. It engages audiences from different cultural backgrounds, and it functions as the cultural bridge that I have always strived to build between my culture of origin and the culture that I am a part of now. 

Installation view 

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Only Sound Remains

Raheleh T. Filsoofi after a poem by Forugh Farrokhzad - 2014

 

Now…

…at this moment…

…free from it all…

Standing deep within the solitude of this whiteness,

Just be the ear, the witness

Join me as we listen closely to the atmosphere that surrounds us

Sounds are coming together, mixing together, merging together, and dancing together.

Can you hear the sound of the music? The sound of the ocean? The sound of the wind?

Can you hear the sound of whispering?

The sound of a mother singing? The sound of a child laughing?

Can you hear the sounds of laughs converted to crying by warnings of the war?

Can you hear the sounds of prayers in the streets and people’s angry roar?

You may not understand every word,

Melody after melody…

…sound after sound…

…in the solitude of this whiteness,

Things are uninterrupted, clear;

And that’s your appreciation which brings them near

And I request one single, solitary, simple thing that must be done

that your ears become aligned with mine in listening to the environment all around us.

Focus now and train

your choice may not come until you’re holding countless lids of these vessels.

Leave your mark to me to trace

Just remember that, when it is all said and done,

only sound remains.

Only Sound Remains  Multi-Media Installation (Ceramic Objects, Video, Sound), Raheleh Filsoofi

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