Ode Action to Hélène Smith

 

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Hélène Smith was a medium and glossolalist, famous in Vienna at the turn of the XIX th for her mysterious speech in sanskrit and martien.

 

With the support of linguists such as Ferdinand de Saussure, the psychologist Théodore Flournoy made an effort to understand Smith's exceptional skills in speaking unknown languages, while her non intelligible speech can be read as a form of a 'vocal utopia': an attempt to exceed the social boundaries embedded in language.

 

Building sounds and a mysterious sculptural object made from the fragments of a previously deconstructed piano, Ode Action to Hélène Smith ventures across the uncertain frontier that separates the discovery of new forms of communication and the urgency to exit the language.

 

Charlotte Law and Artur Vidal

 

Performed in London at Guerrila Studio on the 6 of July 2014

 

Photography: Adam KC McGee Abe