In the doorway stands a woman of mysterious countenance, wearing a tattered black robe, and strange markings on her face.
‘I can guide you into the realm of the Silent One but you must bring your best word as currency to enter’.
The guide ushers you through a curtain, into a lowly lit room that seems to be covered with the pages from old books and newspapers, a kind of shrine to a world where words had become valueless, sensationalised, and lacking the integrity to wake people up to the plight of their planet. A strange room, like an old forgotten thing, transported into the future of a post-apocalyptic world; found in the pocket of a dusty vintage jacket. A forgotten poem.
Full of curiosities, memories, detritus, strange mechanical structures, and amidst it all sits the Silent One. Holding herself like royalty amidst her paper palace, she is adorned like some kind of priestess medicine woman. The elaborate headdress, bejewelled and boned is only surpassed by her commanding presence.
The guide bows and greets the Oracle, introducing you as ‘The Seeker’. The Oracle surveys you with her powerful stare and then strikes the edge of the sand box three times.
The guide says
‘Your word; write it in the sand’.
Wild and Tansley have drawn inspiration from the stories of the Oracle of Delphi who was subjected to the inhalation of powerful gases emitted from a crack in the temple floor that produced euphoric states and allowed the oracle to utter words that would be deciphered into meaning for the seeker.
The Library of Souls re-imagines the story of the oracle in a post-apocalyptic context. A time where the earth is no longer inhabitable and those few humans left have been driven underground to live in subterranean spaces. The earth’s surface is now a harsh landscape where radiation fires rage and strong winds give birth to dust storms. In these desperate times the people cry out to the ancient gods once more and seek the wisdom of the long forgotten oracles.
With this immersive performance, the seeker will meet ‘The Silent One’, an oracle who trained under old masters to possess secret knowledge. She cannot utter a word; her voice was taken from her when the governments were trying to crush the rebellion as society crumbled. Her words were not welcome and she was tortured, but the pain she endured only enhanced her other senses.
It is the Seeker’s words that she needs, for they hold great power. She has a commanding presence and offers in exchange for the seekers inscribed word access to her secret wisdom.
Once ‘the Seeker’ has been given this, they will leave the oracle and be left to decipher the wisdom for themselves. They must not speak about this to anyone unless of course they also hold something of the wisdom from the oracle. In this way the story moves out into the world and inhabits a space for seeding shared experiences and ongoing dialogue.
This piece explores many layers of human experience and our relationship to story, ritual, and personal meaning. The artists will be dedicated to an endurance performance as the stream of ‘seekers’ move through the space. They will create a unique experience for the audience to participate in and will also gain insight into human response and allow it to inform their practice.
Sign up to visit the Silent One here: https://the-library-of-souls.eventbrite.com.au