Rosie Heinrich

Rosie Heinrich (UK born, Amsterdam based) uses audio material from recorded conversations as a medium to explore the constructs of self-storytelling, belief, reality, and (spoken or wordless) language. Unpacking forms of narration, these methods result in audio and video works, performances, artist books, photographs, and installations.

Heinrich is currently a fellow of THIRD Cycle Research Group at the DAS Graduate School. She received her Master in Fine Arts at the Dutch Art Institute, where she was also member of the research collective APRC. Her works have been shown, among others, at Kunsthuis SYB Triennial (Beetsterzwaag), Cycle Music and Art Festival (Kópavogur, IS), puntWG (Amsterdam), A Tale of a Tub (Rotterdam), Art Rotterdam, and Veem House for Performance (Amsterdam). During 2015–2016 she was artist in resident for nine months at SÍM, The Association for Icelandic Visual Artists, in Reykjavík and on location. Here she began her long-term, multidisciplinary project centred around the Icelandic Crash: We always need heroes. Coinciding with the ten-year anniversary of the Crash, her artist book of the same title was published by Fw:Books in September 2018.

At the belly of belief

Learning to listen: disassembling the voice, (wordless) language, and (self-)storytelling.

In the collaborative act of listening, listeners become the co-author of what is said and its perceived meaning. This is one aspect of how collective narratives are formed – to a positive or negative effect – and how the art of sublime rhetoric functions, where orator and listener transcend into reciprocal meaning-making. Here an orator knowingly delivers an unfinished artwork (a painting of insinuations, a malleable vision) for the listener to complete with her own meaning and, if effective, they collaboratively craft a sense – false or otherwise – of collective belief.

What is our agency as listeners? What do we want to hear? How do we choose to listen?

From the position and perception of the listener – the receiver and meaning maker – I aim to explore our different modes of listening to the voice (projective, receptive, open, active, close, critical) and therein discover new nuances of listening, and our agency in destabilising hardened beliefs and remaking meaning.

My points of departure for this practice-led research are: the voice as a bodily instrument (its repurposing of the tongue, digestive pipe, and windpipe), the ingestion of words and stories, the bodily origins of belief (that gut feeling), the make-up of (collective) memory, the phenomenon of co-authorship, the art of sublime rhetoric, historical notions behind (collective) ventriloquism – or speaking from the belly – (as both a conduit for the past’s dead and a foreteller of the future), displaced and borrowed voices, and languages of the unsaid.

How do our ears read between the lines and fill in the gaps? What orchestrates our listening and perception of meaning? By learning about the power of the ear, what can we subvert in the telling, reception and perception of words and stories, and in so doing the constitution of our belief systems?