Olivia Webb

Untitled, 2017

waterproof speakers, solar powered preamp, cables and sound recordings
dimensions variable

In this gully we hear a conversation. Two musicians–a Bass Viol player and North Indian Classical vocalist–sustain a robust discussion on home ground.

Experts in their own distinct musical fields, these musicians demonstrate how, in order to create something meaningful, they must listen to the other as much as they must sound or voice their own instruments. There are moments where we hear just the Viol, or just the Voice, and moments when the two come together in renewed ways. In doing so, the musicians reveal the subtleties and complexities involved in an exchange–how to listen, respond, how to listen while speaking, how to speak and listen simultaneously.

This musical performance presents an allegory of intercultural understanding, and strives, in the spirit of Edward Said’s thinking, toward a transformation from two unitary identities into identities that include the other without suppressing the differences.

– Olivia Webb

The artist thanks Balamohan Shingade and Robert Oliver for their generous performances.

Olivia Webb

born 1988, Christchurch
Lives and works in Wellington

Olivia Webb’s art practice explores our experience of architectural and social space through video, performance and multi-channel sound installations. Works utilise the human voice, particularly in song, as a way of revealing and ushering forth silent traditions, histories and experiences embodied in space and place.

Webb has a Master of Performance and Media Arts from AUT University, Auckland and is undertaking a PhD in Art & Design. She is a classically trained soprano and performs and exhibits internationally as a vocalist and artist. Recent exhibitions and commissions include: Lapides Vivi, Edinburgh Art Festival, UK (2016); Miserere Mei, Brick Bay Sculpture Trail, Auckland (2016); The Choir of the Self, The Audio Foundation, Auckland (2016); In Paradisum, Oceanic Performance Biennial, Cook Islands (2015) and Scale, Te Tuhi Art Gallery, Auckland (2015).