Fayen d'Evie

The Radical Potential of Blindness

Orienting Through Blindness: Blundering, Be-Holding and Wayfinding as Artistic and Curatorial Methods, Performance Paradigm, Issue 13, 2017.  DOWNLOAD ESSAY

ABSTRACT: This essay traces my conceptual stumbling amidst a succession of ephemeral frameworks of contact—from informal conversations to complex exhibitions—oriented through blindness. Via creative experiments, and myopic reading of William Forsythe’s choreographic objects theory, a trio of methods coalesced to texture and tension the temporalities, densities, dynamics, and choreopolitics of performative works: blundering, be-holding, and wayfinding. Blindness is not treated as darkness or nocturnalism here, but instead introduces a complexity and diversity of embodiments and relationships to perception, imagination, and consciousness, that offer an array of alternatives to the ocular standard of 20:20 vision. Blindness may destabilise performer-spectator conventions, activate attentiveness and movement improvisations, and innovate methods for sensing, archiving and conserving performative artworks. The essay traces a few of these fledgling propositions, as I nudge blindness away from segregated accessibility policy, towards generative artistic practice and curatorial thinking. 

CURRENT research

re-LOCaTing echoes, sfmoma

With Georgina Kleege, Shelley Lasica, Bryan Phillips, Hillary Goidell and Trent Walter

This research explores ways that performative, ephemeral and degrading artworks can be sensed, archived, conserved, and remembered through creative, ekphrastic practice. Experiments includes vibrational recording, recalling performances, sonic collages, audio narratives, and tactile artist books, in relation to encounters with artworks by Richard Serra, Eva Hesse, Bill Fontana, and Janine Antoni, at SFMOMA.

This research is supported by the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria, and the Ian Potter Cultural Trust.

vibrational poetics

With Benjamin Hancock and Aaron McPeake

Continuing conversations around sensation, attentiveness, one-to-one encounters, this research explores the dynamics of vibrational spaces, bodies and artworks, working with the resonant sculptures of Aaron McPeake. The first stage of development took place in the Morgue Gallery, Chelsea College of Arts, London, The second stage took place at the Castlemaine Gaol, Dja Dja Wurrung, North Central Victoria.

This research is supported by the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria

vibrational bodies

With Bryan Phillips and Anna Seymour

This research explores the activation of vibrational sculptures through sensing bodies, and experiments with choreographic and performative extensions.

This research is supported by the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria.

selected EXHIBITIONS 2018

Reading ‘Sequence’ / Tactile Re-call

Fayen d’Evie and Bryan Phillips   

With Seeing Hands, Incinerator Gallery, Melbourne, 7 Apr - 20 May 2018

'Wayfinding ‘Sequence’ / Vibrational Re-call' (2018) disperses an audio collage around the gallery; vibrational recordings of Georgina Kleege navigating a monumental sculpture by Richard Serra.

'Reading ‘Sequence’ / Tactile Re-call' (2018) recalls perspectival memories of walking ‘Sequence’, treating painting as a trans-sensory medium.


Katie West and Fayen d'Evie

A Thousand Times the Rolling Sun, HM Prison, Beechworth, 16-18 Feb 2018

HM Prison Beechworth was built in stages between 1858 and 1864, using granite quarried on site. Operational until 2004, its design followed the radiating panopticon principle, intended to maximise surveillance and control. The narrative of the prison has been dominated by the optics of settler Australia, especially the exploits of the Ned Kelly gang. As we searched for traces of others who had occupied the prison or inhabited the periphery of Beechworth, we unearthed photos of Blind Tommy, purportedly "The Last Chinaman of Beechworth", his garden overflowing with leafy cabbages. We heard that prisoners had tilled a garden just beyond the exercise yard, similarly abundant in cabbage, to augment their diets and to trade. Through a durational performance, the cabbage was handled as a plant that carries the stories of Chinese indentured labour, diggers, market gardeners and cooks, stories of malnourishment, abuse and deaths in custody, stories of commerce, agency and survival, stories of recuperating the health of bodies and soil.

SELECTED exhibitions 2017


Sophie Takách and Fayen d'Evie with Janaleen Wolfe, Ben Phillips and Bryan Phillips

Casula Powerhouse, Sydney, 29 Apr – 2 Jul 2017

A responsive sculptural and sonic installation, including tactile rock paintings, vibratory steel armatures, wet and dry rawhides, and a spatialised audiodescription of place by Bryan Phillips, listening through materials to encounters with resonant bodies.The installation was co-created with Janaleen Wolfe and Ben Phillips, Theatre of the Blind, who also guided tactile tours of the installation.

janaleen sings, and hides.

Fayen d'Evie with Janaleen Wolfe and Bryan Phillips

John Fries Award, UNSW Galleries, Sydney, 11 Aug - 2 Sept 2017

Screenprint with debossing, an image translation of photographic documentation by Pippa Samaya of forming/un-forming of rawhide by Janaleen Wolfe, printed by Trent Walter, Negative Press. 3-channel sound work that experiments with vibrational audiodescription.

Museum Incognita - Belgrade

Fayen d'Evie and Katie West

When the Other Meets the Other Other, Cultural Centre, Belgrade, 27 May – 4 Jun 2017

Meditations on listening, carrying story, custodial care, botanicals, and neglected histories, through embodied encounters with artworks in three landscapes: the Museum of Contemporary Art sculpture garden (under reconstruction); a private garden of sculptures by Olga Jančić; and a brutalist monument designed by Vojin Stojić with architect Gradimir Medaković, at the summit of Kosmaj mountain.

Story, as told.

Fayen d'Evie, Shelley Lasica and Bryan Phillips

The Score, Ian Potter Museum of Art, Melbourne, 1 Aug - 5 Nov 2017

Working with ideas of describing or mapping the exhibition room, the artists develop a performance that allows transensory modes of stories to resonate, echoing densities, slippages, absences, and interruptions through the dispersed retelling.

SELECTED exhibitions 2016

The Gravity, The Levity

Fayen d'Evie and Georgina Kleege

Kadist, San Francisco, 16 Jan 2016

ee//hm [eareye // handmouth]

'Gathering Three Frogs' // by Cecilia Vicuña
Fayen d'Evie, Katie West, Bryan Phillips and Pippa Samaya

'FnF' // by Moe Satt
Fayen d'Evie and Devon Bella

Kadist, San Francisco, 14 – 17 Dec 2016

tactile dialogues

Fayen d'Evie and Shelley Lasica

Human Commonalities, V.A.C. and the State Museum of Vadim Sidur, Moscow, 10 Sep - 30 Oct 2016

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Fayen d'Evie, Troy McConnell, Sophie Takách and Prue Lang

Gertrude Glasshouse, Melbourne, 8 – 29 Oct 2016