A Readymade Ceremony
Félicia Atkinson (visual artist, writer, musician, graduate of École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris) presents A Readymade Ceremony, a concrète/post-digital oratorio in five parts. In pursuit of a radical economic autonomy, she created A Readymade Ceremony entirely on her laptop using basic software. The album's first foundational element is a text collage of extracts from Atkinson's own 2014 book Improvising Sculpture As Delayed Fictions, French poet René Char's 1955 Recherche de la base et du sommet, and Georges Bataille's 1937 erotic prose piece Madame Edwarda, as well as found texts, mostly from the Italian magazine Mousse. Objects speaking, sculptures arguing: there is a surrealistic feeling in the dark whisperings that one hears responding to Madame Edwarda on "L'Oeil." The other foundational element is Atkinson's return to her early artistic influences, including The Martenot Method; such literary figures as Antonin Artaud, Henri Michaux, and Jean Genet; Structures Sonores Lasry-Baschet, Pierre Henry, Cornelius Cardew, John Cage, Fluxus, Robert Ashley, Morton Feldman; noise, punk, drone, folk, and electronic music; and the filmmakers Brian de Palma, Nicolas Roeg, and Dario Argento. There's something potentially frightening that happens here, reminiscent of a feeling she felt while listening to Henry's Apocalypse de Jean as a child; something both scary and beautiful; something uncanny, like Ruth White reciting Baudelaire... a readymade ceremony. Notes on each track: "'Against Archives': What can a French woman in her 30s answer to this mostly masculine core of references? 'L'Oeil': What about asking a sweater or an electronic device to speak? 'The book is the territory': It's all about nostalgia; how the shifting of time changes our vision of the past and the future, like an echo or a delay. 'Carve the concept and the artichoke': Is this a waiting room? the prologue of an inexistent play or an introduction for a possible delayed climax? 'Recherche de la base et du sommet': Translates to 'research of the base and the peak,' as a raw reading of René Char. 'There is always a lack in the accident. There is no accident in the expression... the poet is not made of wood. The mouth and the eye speak separately.'" The music can be related to the work of Jefre Cantu-Ledesma, Valerio Tricoli, Grouper, Geoff Mullen, Sachiko M, and Kassel Jaeger. Mastered and cut by Helmut Erler at Dubplates & Mastering. CD limited to 1000 copies.