A solo exhibition of new work commissioned for Soundfjord (London) in 2013. The exhibition comprised a film and sound work, Sbarbi's Arrow, and a narrowcast of text, images and sound recordings wired to the gallery remotely from Seville.
The film presents a hallucinatory ethnographic portrait of the Plaza de Molviedro on the evening of Palm Sunday of 2011, as the procession of Jesús Despojado arrives at its chapel in the public square. A series of video stills - in which the plaza is illuminated in the multiple camera flashes of the public gathered to witness the arrival of Jesús Despojado - are animated to create a flow of images revealing a choreographic of objects, light and sound. The work sits in a discursive territory between sound and video art, documentary field recording, and contemporary ethnographic film-making.
"The title refers to an 1880 text by José María Sbarbi in which he describes the saeta as 'a brief, fervent spiritual maxim, capable of producing in the mind an impression similar to that caused in the body by the wound from an arrow... capable, not of riddling the heart of the most hardened or indifferent sinner with arrows, but of giving a dead man gooseflesh.' Whitley searches for traces of Sbarbi's metaphorical arrow within his self-reflexive investigations in contemporary ethnography, extending the metaphor from flamenco song to processes of recording, memory and playback."
The exhibition was complemented with a series of on and off-site events at Soundfjord, Goldsmiths University and Cafe OTO, hosting practitioners from the fields of documentary, sound studies, ethnomusicology, visual art and sound art, including: Doc Rowe, Angus Carlyle, Rosalind Fowler, Dr. Noel Lobley, Jez riley French, Ian Rawes and John Wynne.
Exhibition produced as a commission at Soundfjord.
Supported by the Arts Council England and the British Library.
With additional support from Measure, Unit for Sound Practice Research at Goldsmiths University of London.
Media partner Sound And Music.
Original sound recordings, edit & video animation: Duncan Whitley
Camera: Simon Day
Music: José Antonio Rodríguez Sabín (saeta) and Agrupación Musical Virgen de los Reyes (Seville).
Single-screen video, multi-channel sound. Stereo version available on request.
Duration: 22 minutes 57 seconds
Codec: Apple Pro Res 422 or H264
Audio: PCM uncompressed 5 channels