Week 8 Exhibition

For my week 8 exhibition, I had a few objects to display with 2 sound pieces on two different sets of MP3 players and headphones. I chose the 1st version where my mum tells the story in French. This is a more factual and distant version as she explains the history and how she experienced the story of Mame Coumba Bang, but also how she feels about it now and the 3rd version which is in Wolof where my mum is telling the story in a more mythical way, as it would presumably be told to children. I thought it was important to have both languages in the story as they both represent an important aspect of Senegalese culture and the French showing the influence of colonialism still being quite prevalent in the everyday.

I wanted the piece to display different important elements of the story of Mame Coumba Bang and the life in Saint Louis. I decided to hang the fishing net as I wanted it to be a piece you could walk around and I felt it was the best way for it to interact with the calabash as an object. I wanted to use a plinth to have the calabash slightly elevated but decided to instead get a wooden crate cause I felt that it created a more domestic feeling to the objects, as something that is less intimidating to visually interact with.

I experimented further with the display and considered adding some photographs I had taken of Saint Louis to create visual links to the place.

I decided against using them as I felt it was a bit unnecessary and would take away from the storytelling impact. I find that with a story it is important to be able to immerse yourself and the images may be distracting from the objects and their interaction with the story.

I also considered how the audience would experience listening to the piece and decided that I think it would be most effective if the audience were to be seated in their interaction with the piece. This would create a more intimate storytelling experience, one which I related to being a child and being read stories in your classes and sitting on a cushion. It creates a sense of comfort, immersion and I think would likely lead to a longer listening experience.

I also covered the pillow in a material which has cultural links as I bought it in an art and material shop in Saint Louis and is a patchwork of popular materials often used in decoration and clothing in Saint Louis and other places in Senegal.

A dilemma I had with this display was whether having two sets of headphones and one pillow would lead to confusion, but I felt that had I had two different sets of seating people would presume that the two headphones are playing the same thing, but I thought I’d just wait and see how it played out during the exhibition.

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