back gallery: kate o’boyle - ritual silences

Opening: August 1st

Exhibition: 2nd - 18th August

Kate O’Boyle is an Adelaide-based visual artist who works across sculpture, installation, video and sound. Kate works site-responsively in local Catholic churches, observing and documenting how materiality operates in these spaces.

RITUAL SILENCES reflects on recordings taken from Saint Francis Xavier Cathedral over a four-month period. Located on Victoria Square, 200 metres from the gallery space, the cathedral is the key operating site of the Catholic Church in South Australia. Proximate to FELTspace, these documents provide an opportunity to consider how faith operates relative to the gallery space.

RITUAL SILENCES attempts to destabilise aural hierarchies in church spaces by preferencing the sounds of the congregants’ bodies over that of their superiors. Silence and noise become points of contact between the body’s internal and external worlds; I hear myself as I am heard by others. Church spaces require the individual body to join with others, holding within it the potential to comply and resist through sound.

Church spaces are performed sites that utilise materiality to operate affectively on the bodies of the faithful. Catholicism remains a fiercely patriarchal institution and maintains traditional gender hierarchies. By removing and decontextualising the materiality within the church space, RITUAL SILENCES acknowledge those that are excluded from church hierarchies, while attempting to understand how they are subjected to, and act to reinforce, institutional power.