Season 5. Barely Audible

Sep 2023–Jan 2024

After issues concerning the large-scale cultural transformations of recent decades, the Holy Barbarians programme changes its tone. Its latest season — Barely Audible. A Still, Small Voice (1 Kings 19:12) — brings to the forefront a soft, gentle voice delivering the most important messages. And here we are concerned with how a cultural institution can master this particular register. Where is the boundary between an open declaration and an allusion? What kind of communicative situation emerges in the space of genuine affinity, free from transactional exchanges? Close affinity creates a space for a special connection between silence and frankness, where emotional negotiations can take place. Many things can be stated without words, for example, when a statement is suddenly interrupted, and you can only guess about what was left unspoken.

Sometimes the most significant statements are uttered by a voice whose source is concealed or even absent, coming from nowhere and conjectured in the "small voice" of the divine breath. The unspoken comes to the surface when everything said before reveals its depletion of forces. The space of the unspoken is the territory where new hopes and meanings emerge, stubbornly making their way into the world.