Fayen d’Evie and Benjamin Hancock

Artwork Details

Audiodescriptive and captioned video, 2022

Access Statement

The video work H(e)R {~~~} … , … ; x ; o (2022) draws on poetic audiodescription and captioning to catalyse new ground for my collaborative practice with Benjamin Hancock. This new commission for HQ offers an expansion in access for our recent collaborative video H(e)R {~~~} … , … ; x (2021), which features excerpts from a private development session, as Benjamin dressed in drag experimented with ways of embodying typography for the word “her.”

Benjamin and I co-created the new audiodescriptive and captioned video by discussing what was taking place in the original video, frame-by-frame. Through conversation, we distilled what was the most important visual information to us in each secene. We refined this into a coauthored, poetic, descriptive text, and then recorded Benjamin reading this script.

The captioned text sits over the stretched original video, behind a veil to obscure the visuals. We imagine that in future presentations, the two videos, the original and the audiodescriptive commission, could be shown side-by-side.

The new audiodescriptive video work commissioned by HQ is a few minutes longer than the original. We decided to privilege the pacing of the audiodescriptive narration and captioning, stretching the source video to fit. This act is political: a refusal to constrain perceptual translations within arbitrary visual norms. A gentle cripping and queering of time.

If exhibited together, then each morning they would begin at the same time, then slowly shift their temporal relationship over the day, as the asynchronous loops cycle around.

However, we have elected to show only the new commission for the premiere on HQ. This is another political act, an insistence that an expansion in access can be positioned as a distinct artwork on its own terms. Audiences are thus invited to experience the audiodescriptive and captioned video as the artwork, without tethering it to the original. However, we also welcome enquiries from galleries, museums, artist spaces, festivals, and places of learning that are interested in exhibiting the companion works side-by-side.

Artist Statement

The original video work which our new HQ commission audiodescribes was composed from documentation of a private working session, as we began to choreograph the third issue in our Essays in Vibrational Poetics series. This series was conceived during a residency at Chelsea School of Art, London, where we developed vibratory languaging and embodied typography while interacting with resonant sculptural bells and gongs by artist Aaron McPeake, who writes on adventitious blindness.

The first issue of the Essays in Vibrational Poetics, titled  {~} … , … ; … (2019), was performed at the Art Gallery of NSW for the opening weekend of The National, Sydney. The second issue {~} … , … ; …  (2019) was presented at the Language Forum of the Ian Potter Museum of Art.  A durational re-print of the first issue {~} … , … ; … (2nd edition) (2021) was performed at SAMSTAG Museum of Art, for the Adelaide//International. The third issue was commissioned by the Buxton Contemporary, Melbourne, as an ekphrastic response to a work from their collection: Emily Floyd’s sculptural installation Temple of the Female Eunuch (2008).

Floyd’s installation incorporates text excerpts from Germaine Greer’s first wave feminist text The Female Eunuch (1970). We chose one of the excerpts to translate into vibratory languaging and embodied typography: “A woman seeking alternative modes of life is no longer morally bound to pay her debt to nature.”

During our first working session, we concentrated on the word ‘HER’. This process was filmed by Will Huxley, with costuming by Jack Hancock for The System, and resulted in the 6.23 minute video work H(e)R {~~~} … , … ; x (2021).

The process of making the new HQ commission H(e)R {~~~} … , … ; x ; o (2022) has been described in the access statement above. Similar to our position that this audiodescriptive video be approached as a an artwork in its own right, we invite you to consider the access statement above as the core artist statement, and this section as an appendix, providing a little more context.

Artwork Credits

Fayen d’Evie and Benjamin Hancock
Dialogue recording by Simon Maisch
Recorded at SIAL Sound Studios, RMIT, Naarm