Why Voices?Why voices for an 'archive of exile'?
Because the voice comes from the body
Because the voice speaks the mind
Because voices are redolent of place
Because voices are the subject of myth
Because voices can be used to greet strangers
Because the voice can dissemble and be disguised
The world is full of voices - some are wise; some are seductive; some tell the truth; others are ruinous. Leaving home opens one up to a cacophony. Whose voice do we listen to? Whose can ignored? Whose call should we respond to? Whose is better left unanswered? The myth of Odysseus dramatizes these choices. Wandering the ocean, unable to find his way home after the long ordeal of the Trojan War, Homer's exilic hero is assailed by voices, none of them known to him, not all of them benign. Of these the most dangerous are the sirens, who exist to sing and, through song, lure lost travellers to their deaths. Odysseus' shipmates protect themselves by plugging their ears with wax. But the hero himself chooses no such safeguard: lashed to the mast, he exposes himself to the terror of the sirens' voices, and, in his radical openness to experience, risks his own destruction. To pass through the world is to build one's own archive of voices, constantly confronting the danger of indiscriminate listening and making oneself vulnerable to siren calls. Not to listen is never to move. But listening may mean that you never arrive back home.