Return to menu
Imogen Stidworthy: (.) 25 May–17 July 2011 | The Whisper Heard 24 September–16 November 2003 | Publications



Imogen Stidworthy | The Whisper Heard, 2003 | installation with video and sound

Imogen Stidworthy The Whisper Heard, 2003 (installation view)

Imogen Stidworthy The Whisper Heard, 2003 (installation view)

Imogen Stidworthy The Whisper Heard, 2003 (installation view)

Press Information
The Whisper Heard is Imogen Stidworthy’s first exhibition at Matt’s Gallery. This sculptural installation using video and sound, centres on the spoken word in relation to different notions of meaning and communication. Sounds and images are configured into three acoustic zones in the gallery, focused and reflected within the adapted architecture by loudspeakers and a parabolic dish.

The artist has been working closely with two people that deal with language in very different ways. Tony O’Donnell has aphasia, a condition following a stroke that affects the language faculty of the brain. Severin Domela, aged three, is in the process of learning to speak. As neither participant is able to read, their relationship with words is primarily oral.

In The Whisper Heard, the participants respond to a narration of chapter twenty-eight of Jules Vernes’ nineteenth-century novel ‘Journey to the Centre of the Earth’. Here, the main character awakens from unconsciousness having lost his companions in a maze of underground tunnels. Alone in silence and darkness, he rapidly loses all sense of relation to the outside world and his trust in his senses. Eventually, the faint echo of his uncle’s voice restores his sense of orientation and light. He sets off in the direction of the sound but falls down a hole, and is again knocked unconscious.

When listening to the tale, Tony voices his thoughts as he searches to locate meaning for the words he hears. He grasps the ideas of the narrative in mental images, but not the individual semantic expression. For him, bringing these ideas back into language means finding words again in an elliptical process of searching and translation. Severin repeats what he hears, engaging when he can with linguistic meaning and when he cannot, focusing on acoustic qualities of sound and shape. He, like Tony, speaks ‘a narration which is never allowed to reach its destination’. In The Whisper Heard, the affirming power of the narrative is diverted as language is brought into a realm of uncertainty. The spoken word is dismembered; sound, image and linguistic meaning are pulled apart. As the participants work through the text, a new form of grammar comes into operation through the grain of the voice and visual gestures: hands making images, and words and voices making shapes.

This exhibition has been generously supported by Arts Council England and The Henry Moore Foundation, and received sponsorship-in-kind from SOUNDTUBE Entertainment. For further information and visual material please contact the gallery.

Return to top

Biography
Born 1963, British. Lives and works in Liverpool Studied 2014–2018 Malmö Art Academy, Lunds University, SE (PhD Programme in Fine Arts); 1992–1994 Jan van Eyck Academy, Maastricht, NL (Postgraduate Studies in Fine Art); 1984–1987 West Surrey College of Art and Design, UK (BA Hons Fine Art, first class) Solo Exhibitions 2015 Imogen Stidworthy, IWM Contemporary, Imperial War Museum, London 2014 Balayer – A Map of Sweeping, Sao Paolo Bienal, Brazil; Introduction to Bliss for Two Voices with Chorus part 2, Liverpool Biennial, Tate Liverpool, Liverpool; The Voice and the Lens, Whitechapel Art Gallery, London; Introduction to Bliss for Two Voices with Chorus part 1, RADAR, Loughborough University, Loughborough 2013 Volumes of Stone, Galerie Raum mit Licht, Vienna; Sacha, Galerie AKINCI, Amsterdam 2011 (.), Matt’s Gallery, London 2010 The Work, Kunstpavillon, Innsbruck, Austria; Imogen Stidworthy, Arnolfini, Bristol; Barrabackslarrabang, AKINCI, Amsterdam 2009 Audio/photo installation The Work, installed in waiting room no 1, Loughborough Railway Station, commissioned by RADAR, Loughborough University 2008 Die Lucky Bush curatorial project, MuHKA (Museum of Contemporary Art, Antwerp 2006 Get Here, Galerie Hohelohe, Vienna 2005 Imogen Stidworthy, FRAC Bourgogne, Dijon; Audio Cab, temporary public art work installed in taxi cabs in Luton, UK 2003 The Whisper Heard, Matt’s Gallery, London 2002 Dummy, Netherlands Film Museum, Amsterdam; Substitutes, Gallery K&S, Berlin; o.T., Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart, Germany 2000 closing/close by, Spacex Gallery, Exeter 1998 Filmblik, Haags Filmhuis, Den Haag, NL 1997 To, Hedah, Maastricht, NL 1996 Elocution, De Vaalseberg, Rotterdam, NL 1995 Clitic, Plateau, Brussels 1991 Transparent Thing, Cambridge Darkroom Gallery, Cambridge Selected Group Exhibitions 2015 Listening, Hayward Touring Exhibition, Site Gallery, Sheffield; Norwich University of the Arts Gallery, Norwich (and in 2014: Baltic 39, Newcastle; Bluecoat, Liverpool) 2014 Listening, Hayward Touring Exhibition, Baltic 39, Newcastle; Bluecoat, Liverpool; Site Gallery, Sheffield; Norwich University of the Arts Gallery, Norwich; Passages, Akinci, Amsterdam; The Vigilant Eye, The Bluecoat, Liverpool; Itself Not So, Lisa Cooley Gallery, New York 2013 Monday Begins on Saturday, Bergen Assembly, Bergen; Tip of the Iceberg, Contemporary Arts Society, London; About the House / Silence Turned into Objects, WH Auden House, Kirschtetten, Austria; AKINCI, Istanbul International; The Character of a Collection, Museum of Contemporary Art, Antwerp; Acts of Voicing, Total Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul, South Korea; How to Tell a Story, DEPO, Istanbul; 2012 Garden of Learning, Busan Biennale, Busan, South Korea; Time and Again, AKINCI, Amsterdam; The Voice and the Lens, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham; Acts of Voicing, Würtemburgischer Kunstverrein, Stuttgart; El Hilo de Ariadne (Ariadne’s Thread), La Casa del Lector, Matadero, Madrid; Paraphrasing Babel, Viewmaster Foundation, Maastricht; Niet Normaal. Difference on Display, Bluecoat, Liverpool; Language Lessons, LUX online exhibition, curated by Ben Cook 2011 It’s time we got to know each other, 52nd October Salon, Belgrade, Serbia; Terminal Convention, Static, Liverpool; I will talk with anyone who will talk with me, City Gallery, Leicester; Ten Women who use Film curated by Jennifer Higgie, UbuWeb; Ruins Recycled, AKINCI, Amsterdam; Off the Record, Resonance FM, London; Terminal Convention, Cork International Airport, Cork, Ireland; Les Rencontres Internationales, film selection at Haus der Kunst der Welt, Berlin; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Reine Sophia, Madrid 2010 The Eternal Tour, Silwan, East Jerusalem; No Longer Empty, Liverpool Biennial, Liverpool; Signals, Museums of Bat Yam, Israel; Korean International Art Fair, Seoul; Life: a Users Manual, Art Sheffield, Sheffield 2009 Niet Normaal - Difference on Display Beurs van Beurlage, Amsterdam; XXX Get off at Edge Hill Metal, Liverpool; See This Sound Lentos Museum, Linz, Austria; Zacherlfabrik, Vienna; Soundmuseum.fm Arco, Madrid, Spain 2008 Next Up The Bluecoat, Liverpool; What I Hear in Powerplant, Liverpool; Shrinking Cities Cube, Manchester; Moves 08 Festival of Movement on Screen 2007 documenta 12, Kassel; LOOP Art Fair, Barcelona, Spain; Thessaloniki Bienniale; Vienna Art Fair; 2006 Walk On, Shanghai Bienniale; Spool, Het Consortium, Amsterdam, NL; Rogue Wave, FACT, Liverpool, UK; 36 Seconds, BBC Big Screen, Liverpool, UK 2005 7AM, Frieze Art Fair: Artists Cinema, touring UK cinemas Jan-March; SENEF, 6th Seoul Net and Film Festival, Korea; Be What You Want but Stay Where You Are, Witte de With, Rotterdam, NL; Dutch - non Dutch, Van Abbe Museum, Eindhoven, NL; murmur, TENT centre for contemporary art, Rotterdam 2004 How do we Want to be Governed, Art Central, Miami; Shrinking Cities, Kunst-Werke, Berlin; Becks Futures, Institute of Contemporary Arts, London and Centre for Contemporary Art, Glasgow; With Hidden Noise, Henry Moore Institute, Leeds; Versions, Kunsthal Bergen, Norway 2003 Lux Open, Royal College of Art, London; Programme of 16mm short films, LUX, London 2002 ALEX, Galerie Jan Mot/Argos, Brussels; The Pleasure of Language, Netherlands Institute for New Media, Amsterdam; Say Hello, Wave Goodbye, Gallery Hohenlohe & Kalb, Vienna; Commitment, Las Palmas, Rotterdam 2001 Biennale de l’Image en Mouvement, St Gervais, Geneva; Power and the Subject, The Central House of Artists, Moscow; Exploding Cinema, Museum Boymans van Beuningen, Rotterdam, NL 2000 Desperate Optimists, Festival aan de Werf, Utrecht, NL; closing/close by, Video Positive, Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool 1999 Searchlight; Consciousness at the Millenium, CCAC, San Francisco; Verbindingen/Jonctions, Fondation pour l’Architecture, Brussels; Fantasy Jacoba IV, Kote Kanal, Brussels; and... and... and..., Het Consortium, Amsterdam 1998 Adventurers, Cartographers, Storytellers, Fundacio la Caixa, Barcelona; Nexus, Ars Electronica, Linz, Austria; 52nd Edinburgh Film Festival, Scotland; Biennale de l’Image, Centre Nationale de la Photographie, Paris 1997 To, as part of World Wide Video Festival, Stedelijk Bureau Amsterdam; Fenętre sur cour, Galerie Almine Rech, Paris; Prix de Rome Exhibition, Netherlands Photo Institute, Rotterdam 1996 Up Close and Personal, Philadelphia Museum of Modern Art, USA; New York Video Festival, Lincoln Centre, New York; Foriegn Bodies, Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Basel, Switzerland; Erasa una vez... Del Minimum al Caberet, Teatro Central, Seville, Spain 1995 Auto Reverse, Saint Gervais, Geneva; International Video Festival, Reina Sophia, Madrid; Points de Vue, Images d’Europe, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Palais des Beaux Arts, Brussels; MUKHA, Antwerp 1994 Achteinhalb (Eight and a Half), Raum Aktueller Kunst, Vienna; Steierischer Herbstes, Graz, Austria; Monolith, Lettered Rock, Witte de With, Rotterdam Collections Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; FRAC Bourgogne, Dijon; MuHKA (Museum for Contemporary Art), Antwerp; Private collections in Holland and Israel Awards Becks Futures 2004; Prix de Rome 1996, The Netherlands Residencies 2008-2009 Instituto Buena Bista (IBB), Curacao 2001-2002 Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart, Germany Commissions 2009 RADAR, Loughborough University, UK 2008 What I Hear Powerplant, audio installation in Calderstones Park, Liverpool 2006 Rogue Wave 10.2 surround sound commission, FACT, Liverpool 2005 Art in Historic Places: temporary public art work at Dunstable Downs and De Bray Mausoleum, Bedfordshire, commissioned by English Heritage and The National Trust; Amovie short film commissioned by Film London (through SpaceX Exeter and LUX, London), distributed in cinemas nationwide January-April 2006 2000-2002 Public commission for a permanent video installation at the new regional administration building, Steiermark, Murau, Austria. Architect: Wolfgang Tschapeller,Vienna

Return to top

Bibliography
Selected articles/essays 2015 C. James Fagan, The Double Negative, February 2014 Samuel Draxler, New York Performance Artists Collective, August; Thomas Micchelli, Hyperallergic, August 2013 Q&A with Imogen Stidworthy, KUNSTforum, September; 2011 Michelle Robechi, Flashart, July‐Sept; Isabel Stevens, The Wire, August; Laura Mclean-Ferris, Art Monthly, July; John Gayer, Terminal Convention, Art Papers, June; Michaële Cutaya, Terminal Convention, Shower of Kunst, May 2010 Imogen Stidworthy: Life in Film, Frieze, May Art Sheffield 2010, review by Colin Perry, Frieze Magazine, Feb issue 2007 Imogen Stidworthy, review of Get Here at Galerie Hohenlohe, Vienna, by Nicole Scheyerer, Frieze Magazine issue 106 2004 Proto-Pratter, Sarat Maharaj, [b/w illustrations], ‘Migrating Images, producing… reading… transporting… translating’, pub. Haus der Kulturen der Welt 2003 Further on I listened back, Kelly Large, ‘Static Pamphlet’ online magazine (www.static-ops.org/pamphlet.htm), December, pub. Static, Liverpool 2002 Parallel Thoughts on the work of Imogen Stidworthy, Manon de Boer, [b/w illustrations], Newspaper Galerie Jan Mot no. 5, Brussels 1998 Pause… I don’t think I can do anything, Edith Doove, [6pp, colour illustrations], Archis magazine of architecture, city, visual culture, issue no. 12, December Catalogues 2010 Signals, Danna Taggart, Bat Yam Museums; Niet normaal. Diversiteit in kunst, wetenschap & samenleving, text by Nancy Hoffmann, Ed. Ine Gevers. NAi Publishers, Rotterdam and Stichting Niet Normaal, Rotterdam 2009 See This Sound, Promises in Sound and Vision, Lentos Museum, Linz, Walter Konig, Koln 2008 Northern Art Prize catalogue, text by Paul Sullivan, Leeds Art Gallery 2007 Documenta 12 catalogue, text by Manuella Ammer. Taschen, Koln 2005 How do we Want to be Governed (Figure and Ground) Text by Maria Moreira, Eds. Roger Buergel and Ruth Noack, Miami Art Central, US 2004 Imogen Stidworthy How do we Want to be Governed, text by Maria Moreira, 180pp, colour; With Hidden Noise, text by Aura Satz, 52pp, hardback, colour, ed. Penelope Curtis, pub. The Henry Moore Institute; Becks Futures, interview and texts, 48pp, colour, pub. ICA London 2001 Rotterdam International Film Festival 2001 2000 Etablissements d’en Face, 20pp, b&w, text by Eva Gonzalez-Sancho; Narradors d’istoria, 60pp, colour, text by Andrew Webb, pub. Fundacio la Caixa, Barcelona 1999 Searchlight, 120pp, colour, pub. Thames and Hudson, London; Nexus, text by Joanna Schwanberg, 150pp, colour, pub. Springer, New York 1998 Space Explorations, a survey of the work of Space Explorations from 1987-97, 150pp, colour, essay; pub. Space Explorations London; de Tres Courts Espaces de Temps, text by Adriaan Himmelreich, 110pp, colour, pub. Centre Nationale de la Photographie, Paris; Filmblik, 20pp, b&w, pub. by Haags Filmhuis/Najaar, Den Haag 1997 Stedelijk Bureau Amsterdam brochure no. 32, interview with Maxine Kopsa, b&w illustrations, pub. SMBA, Amsterdam; Fenêtre sur cours, text by Stephanie Moisdonl, colour illustrations, pub. Galerie Almine Rech, Paris 1996 Points de vue; images d’europe, text by Stephanie Moisdon, duotone, pub. Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris Publications 2011 Artists book: workgin title In the First Circle, contributions from Caroline Bergvall, Mladen Dolar, Werner Feiersinger, Aglaia Konrad, Alphonso Lingis, Sarat Maharaj and Willem Oorebeek, by Matt's Gallery, London and Jan van Eyck Academy, The Netherlands 2008 Die Lucky Bush, MuKHA, Antwerp 2003 closing/close by, DVD art work and artist’s book, 32pp, colour, essay by Chris Darke, pub. Film and Video Umbrella, London Contributions to publications 2010 Life in Film: Imogen Stidworthy, Frieze Magazine, April issue; Interview: a conversation between Caroline Bergvall and Imogen Stidworthy, Caroline Bergvall: Middling English, John Hansard Gallery; Bread and Butter Pudding, Blantyre, Malawi, in Food for Thought: Thought for Food Ed. Richard Hamilton and Vicent Todoli, Actar; Interview with Imogen Stidworthy, in Art in a City Revisited Ed. Bryan Biggs, Liverpool University Press; The Anxiety of the Next Work in Anxiety of Creativity: Possible Worlds (papers from the conference) Ghuanghzuo Triennale, Published Works, Dublin; Topography of a Voice in Urbanmakers, Parallel Narratives on Grassrotts Practices and Tensions', Ed. Emanuele Guidi, b_Books, Berlin 2008 The Back of the Head in Playing with Words, The Spoken Word in Artistic Practice Ed. Cathy Lane, co-published by RGAP and CRiSAP, London; The Whiper Heard, transcript of a roundtable discussion in Resonant Bodies, Voices, Memories Eds. Anke Bangma, Deirdre M Donoghue, Lina Issa, Katarina Zdjelar. b_Books, Berlin

Return to top