2016, 4-channel video and audio installation with audio transducers, corrugated steel and fog machines
Continuous loop

Fatima Adamu
Melissa Dunphy
Matré Grant
Maria Murphy

Unsung evoked the silenced and forgotten voices of women in Philadelphia’s Callowhill neighborhood, from its earliest days to our present moment. Amidst this immersive installation, the unsung women of the neighborhood were written into the historical record.

Video artists Nadia Hironaka and Matthew Suib along with sound artist and composer Nadia Botello, created a timeline in image and sound, interweaving various historical narratives of local women, spanning over two centuries: an 18th-century prostitute, the wife of an Irish railroad worker, an undocumented immigrant stuck in a cycle of dependency.

The immersive installation included interpretive recordings by four vocalists, bringing the neighborhood’s unwritten history to life. Vocals were layered with additional recordings from the tunnel, including a live feed from a police radio monitoring the neighborhood. The imagery of four vocalists, filmed within a studio were then projected to scale on the tunnel’s gritty interior. Intermittent cycles of fog were used to give the figures an added sense of depth creating an uncanny presence.

Over 1,200 visitors walked through the tunnel beneath the Reading Viaduct to experience this one-night-only event.

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