Metamorphosis | Nirbhaya, 2021
Ambisonic Sound Installation
Sculpture Park, Centre of Polish Sculpture in Orońsko
Metamorphosis | Nirbhaya, (2021) is part of the latest project by Polish-American artist Monika Weiss. Nirbhaya, is a monumental memorial dedicated to the thousands of women who experience violence every day. At the Center of Polish Sculpture in the Chapel Gallery from March 27 to July 11, we can see a three-dimensional model of it, as well as three large-format drawings Dafne (for Nirbhaya) , the drawing triptych Sustenazo (Nosze) , from the collection of the CCA Ujazdowski Castle and a series of nineteen short experimental films and related musical compositions created by the artist, under the common title Two Laments (19 Cantos) [2015–2020]. The sound installation, which is an extremely important element of the project, will open to the public at the end of August 2021.
Metamorphosis | Nirbhaya is inspired by the story of the mythological nymph Daphne, who, escaping violence, becomes a tree. Monika Weiss uses sound to evoke the moment when Daphne undergoes a metamorphosis — her skin hardens turning into tree bark, and her voice becomes the sound of rustling leaves. The ambisonic composition is based on acoustic piano improvisations recorded by the artist and then processed electronically.
Music will be heard every morning and evening for about 12 minutes. The composition is divided into 4 smaller parts, Kataigis (2:49), Drzewo Życia (2:50), Fonî (4:58) and Keîmai (2:28). Viewers will be invited to enter the sound field created by the spectral interaction of sound waves emitted from three sculptural objects. Kataigis in Ancient Greek refers to “the storm coming from above”, Fonî, also in Ancient Greek, means “voice”, “calling” and “cry”, Keîmai means “lying on the ground” in Ancient Greek. Drzewo Życia in Polish means “tree of life.”
The sound was mastered at EMA Experimental Media Arts, University of Arkansas, as part of the artist’s inaugural Artist in Residence SESSIONS 01, supported by the Chancellor’s Fund for Humanities & Performing Arts and the Experimental Performance Research Ensemble.