hearing trumpet project
Narrated by a toothless, deaf, vegetarian hag, the fantastical 1976 novel The Hearing Trumpet is an allegory of eco-consciousness, spiritual immanence, interspecies love, and radical un-ageism.
Inspired by the book and its author, the British-Mexican Surrealist artist Leonora Carrington, my Hearing Trumpet is itself an unruly quest, manifesting in numerous disciplines since 2007. I have have repeatedly utilized the exhibition to explode the book across disparate forms, creating gallery-based notebooks devoted to imagining film versions of the novel, as well as personal meditations on my failed journey to seduce Carrington as a collaborator. Laser-cut, rag paper prints, called Cast Lists name 17 “actors” — living, deceased and fictional figures drawn from politics, philosophy, sports, popular culture, art history, and my own personal history. Live works and video documentation have extended the idea of book-as-performance, including slide lecture cum bed time story, an “Annotation Event” with the octogenarian art and performance historian Moira Roth; and Anthem, two quasi-documentary shorts showing a group of senior citizens learning and rehearsing the 2014 Oscar-winning song, “Let it Go” from Disney’s film Frozen. These various visual, performance, and video works inspired by a book meanwhile fed back into a new book: Hello Leonora, Soy Anne Walsh (no place press) sits somewhere between the genres of memoir, artist’s book, and biography. Its text includes historical and critical scholarly writing on themes and subjects of The Hearing Trumpet, alongside personal ruminations on Carrington the woman, my own aging process, and the pitfalls of biography and interpretation itself.