Spoken Allegories Performance by Anna Roemer, Sylvester Roepstorff and SLØR Visual Performance for Spoken Word Festival.

Spoken Allegories
Concert | Saturday d. 22. Aug. 2020 | Farvergården 7, Odense C | Price: 45 Kr. | Buy tickets here | Written by: Elena Stanciu

Location: Kulturmaskinen
Organizer: Spoken Word Festival

There are few things as tightly connected to existence itself as the spoken word. Biblically speaking. It is the creator’s illocutionary speech act that creates light out of darkness; it is the naming of everything that gives legitimacy and meaning even to the most insignificant of beings; it is through a spoken, untranslatable language of grace which mankind can use to communicate with the heavens; and it is the voice of God that will raise the dead, when the (unspeakable) time comes. 

This week, the Spoken Word Festival kicks off the annual celebration of the one force that makes and breaks, builds worlds and ends wars – the spoken word. Well, it might be less planetary and dramatic, and more intimate and personal, and we will be richer for it. 

On Saturday, the festival presents RoemerRoepstorff x Slør, a performance of spoken word, music and live visual art, with an Old Testament story inspiring the cross-aesthetic telling by musician Anna Roemer and writer and theologian Sylvester Roepstorff. Interpreting the soundscapes and lyrical reading, SLØR Visual Performance/My Lambertsen will use her signature technique of creating mesmerizing landscapes with abstract movement, light, and form. There’s no doubt this is a creative match made in heaven - SLØR’s art making is world-making and åtransformative, with a unique potential for symbolism. 

Symbolism is woven all through the Old Testament, built on allegory and selective (oral) history. It is a book full of heroes and villains, relative morality, and a trove of flawed human beings who, we must assume, are trying to be good and happy, as they struggle to stay alive in endless draughts. The characters of the Old Testament are so far away from us, that it may be difficult to show empathy or use their stories to learn lessons about ourselves today. But if there’s anything that will make us more empathetic, it has to be poetry, music, and visual art.  

RoemerRoepstoff's "The prophet who hit his forehead against an invisible wall" is a modern-day retelling of the story of Balaam, a prophet sent by King Balak of Moab to curse the people of Israel. On his journey, the prophet is stopped by an angel he cannot see, but who stops him nonetheless, because Balaam's donkey can see the angel and refuses to walk further. The crucial moment of being pushed by the king and blocked by the invisible angel is a rich poetic source for the performance and its "electro-acoustic" and visual interpretation of the story.

For a short teaser by SLØR visit: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=588121695427943 and read more about the thoughts behind the performance here: http://roemerroepstorff.dk/?page_id=19

Link to the event

Written by Elena Stanciu

Elena has an MA in American Studies from SDU, and currently works as Features Editor for arts and culture publication PETRIe. She is interested in visual culture and contemporary art, design an...