As part of the collaboration with EMMA, Careof presents Ob skené, a sound installation by Belen Zahera, conceived as part of a bigger work which has begun last October during the period of residence in Milan. The project investigates language as an ambiguous tool, adopted to understand, but also, more often than not, to deceive.
In ancient greek theatre, the death of the characters and other episodes of violence had to take place ob skenè or offstage, because they were considered too much offensive to be seen directly from the public. During the years linguists have claimed that the etymology of the word “obscene” that means “what is offensive for the senses or the taste”, could be traced back to the theatre origins and more precisely to the therm “ob skené”, for its similar morphology and relation to a certain degree of concealment.
However logical or appealing this theory could appear, the truth is that a clear continuity between this two words never existed. The adjective obscene had nothing to do with the word “skené” or “scene” and instead finds its roots in the previsional language, in anticipating the future, and it refers to a bad prediction – thus becoming unpleasant to see.
Between what has to be hidden and what looks like a bad prediction, that is between invisibility and visibility, the logic of discontinuity, based on language, it’s constantly at work. The language becomes an unclean operation of masking and unmasking, a tool to understand, but also, most of the times to mislead. Following these ideas and the general practice of the artist, the project Ob Skené deepens the the functioning of the language and the matter from the point of view of cutting, interrupting and of what is left out and acquired through said cut or association in itself.
The work is presented like a partial scene in the form of an audio installation and experiments the deployment of mental images, halfway between memory and immagination.