The Powerhouse Museum
500 Harris Street
Featuring work by Sam Belinfante, Academic Fellow in Fine Art and Curatorial Practice, THIS IS A VOICE looks inside vocal tracts, restless minds and speech devices to capture the elusive nature of the human voice.
This immersive exhibition, which originally opened at Wellcome Collection in London in 2016, explores how the unique grain of our voice locates us socially, geographically and psychologically and how the voice is utterly flexible and can be altered with treatment and training.
Celebrating the aural and the oral, THIS IS A VOICE is designed as an acoustic journey of sound and film by contemporary artists and composers, punctuated by paintings, manuscripts, medical illustrations and ethnographic objects.
Blending theatre, video, visuals and sound, featured artists and vocalists include Sam Belinfante, Joan La Barbara, Marcus Coates, Enrico David, Mikhail Karikis, Meredith Monk, Emma Smith and Imogen Stidworthy.
The exhibition is presented in five sections, the second of which ― The strains of the voice ― investigates the mechanics and physiology of voice production and how the voice can be changed following disorder, trauma or training. In Focus (2012) by Sam Belinfante, vocalist Elaine Mitchener is shown exercising her voice before a performance revealing the ways that different physical techniques dramatically affect her sound. An excerpt from Focus can be viewed here.
Image: Sam Belinfante, Focus (2012)