Myriam van Imschoot: Artists statement on landscape and voice

There are many definitions of landscape. Some people define it as that what surrounds us. In this view, everything can be landscape. However, what if we think from the perspective of scale? The room in which we are sitting, surrounds us, yet, we may not feel inclined to call it a landscape. The sensation of landscape comes when the surroundings exceed the immediate perimeter of our presence, and scales out to the point that we are always proportionally just a micro-event, a detail, on the brink of irrelevance to the larger phenomenon. One becomes very modest in the landscape, for ‘landscape’ appears whenever we become minor, just a speck in the larger picture.

When people say something is ‘like a landscape’ than this often means that this lense of ‘vastness’ is applied. For example, if we say ‘this room’ is like a landscape, it is an invitation to experience differently the space, contained between four walls, a floor and a ceiling, and to consider it as a whole terrain, full of events and characteristics that make it stretch and widen to a point that we become again ‘minor’ in it.

The voice is what cannot exist without entering the world. What we call voice is humanly produced physicalized sound; on its way through the vocal apparatus  it traverses a flesh terrain of cavaties, chords, membranes, tunnels, that  modulate the traveling sound. This is no unlike what happens outside the body, where the terrain further sculpts the sound before it enters again the flesh world of the hearing apparatus. Friction and obstacles are pivotal, because they bounce the sound, redirect it, muffle or add resonance, amongst the many other changes that can happen. The landscape, both internal (in the body) and external (outside of the body), is a recording studio with many effects.

What we identify as somebody’s voice is the result of its rubbing with the worlds that it travels across. Every voice carries the imprint of the landscapes along its path.

Myriam van Imschoot Brussel 2012