Moksha Sommer

This is a recording of the audio portion of a sound and visual installation done as a portrait of a man named 'Taruno'. Taruno’s story was undeniably lucid. He had come from a household of abuse where he had begun consuming large amounts of alcohol before the age of 10 and would often blackout into sleep. He was sexually abused by his mother, raped by a mentally handicapped neighbor (his parents knew about this and chose to do nothing), and went through addiction that manifested in a multitude of ways; as alcoholism, drug addiction, sex addiction, and more. His turning point was when he was working in a hospital and stealing medication. He almost died from the level of abuse that he was subjecting his body to. His stealing was discovered by the hospital and, astonishingly, what they offered him was rehab. At this crucial point Taruno experienced a God-like vision and radically shifted everything in his life. After recovery he went back to school and became a therapist for people with addiction. In the interviews that I did with him he shared all of this information in great and disturbing depth and also spoke about treatment methods that he utilizes for current patients which deal with addressing trauma locked in the limbic brain and tactile, multisensory methods that can treat those traumas more effectively than psychoanalytical processing. I edited these interviews down from a few hours of material to three segments that were an average of 15 minutes each. For the presentation of the piece, in a private room in the exhibition space, I placed a bed, a wooden school chair, and a ladder. The room was lit by a single light bulb suspended above the ladder. I composed a sound piece comprised of several layers of my voice yielding an unending wave of hypnotic sound that also had momentary sections of standard lullabies. This sound piece radiated from under the bed while Taruno’s voice came from three separate sources speaking different parts of his story. If one stood in the center of the room one would hear the music but be unable to discern what the voices were saying. In order to hear the different segments one had to sit in the chair, lie in the bed, or climb the ladder. The textiles used in the room were bought from Goodwills and smelled dingy. This piece played a great deal upon the viewers discomfort with what they were encountering, the lulling provided by the music, and the inherent oxymoronic play between repulsion, empathy, and hope.

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    Taruno 12:52