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A Tender Ascent

We are delighted to present an online version of A Tender Ascent, from choreographer and performer Maëva Berthelot and musician, vocalist and DJ Coby Sey. Developed, filmed and presented in Wysing’s gallery, A Tender Ascent is an immersive audio-visual installation bringing together filmed performance and 6.1 surround sound. The exhibition is completed with new sculptures, developed with artist Alexandre Bavard.

Both videos have open captions; please click the button below the video player to switch to a version of the work with audio-description.

A Tender Ascent is a study of collaboration as ebb and flow. Sey and Berthelot feel out the way that embodied experiences of sound and movement might connect or disconnect, producing new sensations in the process. They explore how frequency might translate into movement, gesture into resonance, image into vibration. The soundtrack that guides their experiment moves from calming synth washes to jagged 150bpm rhythms, and finally to minor key piano, as two figures in hazmat suits explore instruments, a stage set, and each other. Referencing the strangeness of science fiction and the everyday moments of isolation caused by the pandemic, the work sees Berthelot and Sey moving in and out of synch with the soundtrack, the natural world, and each other, as their roles become fluid and hierarchies dissolve.

A Tender Ascent represents the culmination of work begun during Wysing’s ‘Broadcasting’ themed year in 2020, when Berthelot and Sey were in-residence at Wysing as part of the programme for Wysing Polyphonic: The Ungoverned (curated by A---Z).

A Tender Ascent is supported by Arts Council England and Fluxus Art Projects. Wysing Arts Centre would like to wish a special thank you to A---Z (Anne Duffau).

Sculptures: Alexandre Bavard Sound: Lottie Poulet Editing: Geoffrey Taylor Technical Production: Jack Wilson, Liam Cahill and Wilf Speller Exhibition curated by John Eng Kiet Bloomfield A Tender Ascent was commissioned for Wysing Polyphonic: The Ungoverned by A---Z (Anne Duffau).

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