Douce Mélancholie: Sonic Negotiations of Absence in the Works of Susan Philipsz and Félicia Atkinson

Jenny Wu

On July 5, 2019, French composer, poet, and publisher Félicia Atkinson released an experimental album titled The Flower and the Vessel. On September 16, 2019, the Pulitzer Arts Foundation in St. Louis, Missouri, opened the exhibition Susan Philipsz: Seven Tears. By reflecting on these two contemporary sonic events through the lens of affect theory, this essay aims to explore the embodied experience of absence.

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Jenny Wu is a writer based in the Midwest. She is a graduate student in the Department of Art History & Archaeology at Washington University in St. Louis, where she previously received an MFA in creative writing. Her work can be found in BOMB MagazineDenver QuarterlyThe Literary Review, and Asymptote Journal.

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