< Lilian Beidler - musician+

Art Mara - Women's Ground

Credits: Inigo Taylor

During my artist residency organised by Spazju Kreattiv in Gozo, Malta, I talked to women from this islandabout their life, their work, their role as women and the notion of femininity. I then condensed extracts of these conversations into a sound track: I recorded myself speaking 1- min-parts of these personal histories, always ending with repetitions of a significant phrase which then transitioned into a dense layer of humming and electronic sounds.
Towards the end of the stay, in a performative experiment, I rode my bicycle around the villages of Gozo, loudspeakers hanging from my body and my bike. Extensions to my female body as such, I carried them through public space, inscribing a trail of women's stories on the island. Whenever there was a story playing I stopped my bike, while the following choral repetitions of a phrase and the sound made me start riding again.

The idea of playing women's stories in public space - "making them public" - tackles the traditional conception of women ruling around their homes and families whereas public space is overly male dominated - especially in Gozo where there are quite traditional views of gender roles in place.
The performing me embodying women's oral histories and thus somehow becoming someone else during the performance, might serve as an allegory for how I envision perceiving "the foreign", "the other". The audience only experience part of the stories, because I am moving and taking the stories with me. This in a way parallels historiography and the way we perceive history, other cultures and otherness: Never as the whole picture but always split in bits and parts; Because we are moving in time as we try to look at events frozen behind us on a timeline.

© Lilian Beidler 2019