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  • Chloe Austin

Lost + Found, Galway Arts Centre

I am so happy to be involved in Lost + Found, Culture Night at Galway Arts Centre and especially for it to be curated by my dear friend Saffron Lily. I will be screening my video piece 'Final Hush'.

This video piece gathers 13 videos from a project entitled HUSH that previously worked as an installation piece. HUSH explores the suppressed voices asking questions of female representation and the relationship between body and mind. Recent situations, accusations, allegations and statements force us to reconsider many things, but above all the place of treatment and regard of women.

“Silence is golden, or so I was told when I was young. Later, everything changed”

The work aims to deal (or more so - struggle) with the ever so subtle stereotype of the unobtainable ‘ideal’ self. The female battle continues to acknowledge the body as a site where issues are raised, debated and regularly ignored. The female is represented here as an object, also with questions of ‘male gaze’. It’s intriguing to focus on the self as an image and the self as the ‘other’. John Berger said, ‘The objectified now find their own body and image is out of their control’, and this is an idea that Austin plays with. Self as a split, mirrored, multiple, fragmented image.

“Silence and shame are contagious. So are courage and speech”

These works are inspired strongly by Rebecca Solnit and her book The Mother Of All Questions, particularly her writings on silence. Her powerful words and statements are the main source of sound for this video piece. The use of text resonates with the violent attitude towards women and their lost stories, the refusal to hear our voices. The aim is to compare/contrast/overlap these visual texts with the sound of Solnit’s essay on silence. “Breaking stories, breaking silence.”

“By redefining whose voice is valued, we redefine our society and its values”

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