The Uncommon Deities audio-visual installation heralded the start of David Sylvian’s creative input to the 2011 Punkt Festival in Kristiansand, Norway, where he was artist in residence. Invited by Punkt founders Erik Honoré and Jan Bang, Sylvian’s initial intention had been to re-stage an audio installation that he had provided for the Biennial of Canaries on Gran Canaria two years earlier. However, he saw the opportunity to bring together various creative threads to concoct a truly immersive experience for the first night of the festival.
‘It occurred to me that, rather than recreate the audio installation as was, why not expand upon the concept of the work by inviting [Atsushi] Fukui to be a part of the piece, adding a much-desired visual element, and invite performers to participate in the installation, be they writers, poets, musicians..’ (DS, 2012). The stimulus for the visual element came from a poem that Sylvian had written entitled ‘Uncommon Deities’; this was inspired by Atsushi Fukui’s art and had been written for an exhibition of Fukui’s work which ultimately did not take place. A limited edition hand-printed broadside was produced in 2010, for which the Japanese artist provided a central illustration of the fusion of the male and female form into one body, which he titled ‘The Botanist’. This, Sylvian explained in the Punkt brochure, represents ‘the universality of human experience, the undying spirit.. ..self-contained, self-sustaining, a buddhist non-duality.. ..the coming together of the male and female energies as referenced in much of the world’s ancient literature.’ (2011) Continue reading “The God of Silence”