Biennial 'Human Stain' Audioguide


Liverpool Biennial



September 2010


  • Audioguide



Mercy were commissioned by Liverpool Biennial to produce a creative-response to the ’Human Stain’ strand of their public realm programme. ’Human Stain’ was a show of paintings referencing the individuals’ impact on society, with expressly personal and emotive work

"a visual and emotional journey that progressively moves in the direction of the inner labyrinths of the Self"

We produced a series of audio-pieces that visitors to the gallery were given on headphones – a take on the traditional audioguide. The vocal content was developed by mutating the official guide-book ’blurb’ through translation software and automatic writing, and mixing it with poetic forms.  The intended result is to create the feeling of a thought process that evolves from consideration of the painting itself, into a dream-state – cutting people loose from their own responsibility to ’understand’ poem or painting and freeing them from the gallery context.

The painting here is one of several exhibited by Edi Hela as part of the ’Human Stain’ at Liverpool Biennial.

"The poetic portrait of the artist’s mother entitled La Mamma exemplifies Hila’s desire to withdraw from public discussion and the political arena. It nevertheless comments on the social injustices of the capitalist period. In the solitude of her apartment and the weakness of her elder days, the woman is captured by the painter in a feeble daily gesture, operating her TV remote control. The image clearly shows that her entire world is wound up in her domestic life, a microcosm that keeps her safe and protected."

Mercy attempted to draw out these themes within the painting, while giving listeners freedom to make their own associations to the material.