In response to Lebek’s solo project ‘Watra’, running from 22 February – 24th of March at the Storefront, two artists perform new audio visual material, using Lebek’s Lemko heritage as a foundation for exploration of language, trauma, history and the transformative power of the female voice.
Lem (Лeм) - but, only or like
Places of worship taken apart, moved, burned, demolished, but never silenced.
Things hidden as a way to survive, morphing into something other over time.
Re-purposed, re-assembled, re-stitched.
The language of spolia at a moment of crisis.
Folk songs from a patchwork Europe.
I'm only a hungry ghost wandering about the future
I'm only part of an ancient line of trauma
I'm only like a river, unintelligible
I'm only interested in solutions
I'm only screaming because the environment is moronic
I'm only in voluntary exile
I'm only living a lie
I'm only lying silently
I'm only protecting hope
I'm only casting out demons
I'm only changing my name
I'm only wild at heart
I'm only terrified of this country breaking apart
I'm only loaded with memories of old
I'm only covered and painted with gold
I’m only walking a path that was not offered to me
I’m only an accelerator
I‘m only extracting the essence with bare hands
I’m only searching for the source
Karolina Lebek’s practice is an ongoing investigation of phenomenon of the sacred, with particular interest in object oriented ontology and animism. Through merging sound, video, photography and sculpture, her work exists as a record of getting inside of a scar, reaching towards the most vulnerable source that yet radiates strength. It celebrates the wound and repeats the lesion, with traumatism as an opening to the future of the wound. She’s creating a theatre, a stage for invocation of the past where still and moving images activate each other and have a productive dialogue that brings to the fore exploration of the sacred, the ritual and the body.
Susannah Stark focuses on the power and placement of the voice, questioning how language is used in a technology-driven, digital and capitalist culture. She has an interest in the mouth as modulator which shapes and organises culture, both as a bodily organ and a machine. With many works questioning how voice functions within the context of urban space, she investigates the translation of voice into material and cultural experience. Often involving collaboration and inspired by writings on the ancient Greek Cynics - she merges the economic, cultural, spiritual and personal into narration of the contradictions of contemporary living, using digital media, sound, and song.