St. Moritz Art Film Festival


Sonia Boyce, Exquisite Cacophony

2015 Colors PG EN 35' 00

Swiss Premiere

Out of Competition

Exquisite Cacophony is a film of a performance by two vocalists, Astronautalis and Elaine Mitchener, held at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, February 2015.

Developed around acts of improvisation - as that which invites the unexpected and reveals the unforeseen, Exquisite Cacophony explores the anxieties, slippages and revelations that result from a completely improvised exchange between freestyle rapper Astronautalis who charms members of an invited audience into dialogues about gender, sexual and racial politics and popular culture, until his banter is disrupted by the poetic force of Elaine Mitchener. The spontaneous interplay between the two performers reverberates between utterance and language, producing a cacophony, a discordant mixture of sounds and words that rails against all notions of the familiar.

The vocalists attempt to make sense of the imperial grandeur of the museum, referencing a shared colonial past and issues of nationality. This negotiation is translated from live performance to film, relocated from the Victoria and Albert Museum to the Arsenale in Venice. Okwui Enwezor’s exhibition All the World’s Futures, delves into the upheaval that is our contemporary global reality as a means of exploring how we make sense of the current state of the world and question the appearance of things through images, sounds and words.

Sonia Boyce, Exquisite Cacophony