Sissy and Lyle met through a dating agency, the Salons of St Petersburg, connecting over the acoustic characteristics of specific strident sounds. Sissy, insurmountable and dissatisfied, studied bees, while Lyle, Slavic and disillusioned, is now exclusively a library assistant with one fat lip. Their house, when they finally achieved its purchase, was initially nothing noteworthy. Six miles from the post office – small and stripped bare – it was in need of restructuring…

…The seal is broken, and they exchange whips, scorns, and lashings, surrendering themselves to catcalls and contemptuous chiding. The sides are filled with hissing snakes rattling their glottises, angry voices and antisocial imbalance. Sissy and Lyle’s tongues become swollen and fat with every wave of air pushed past them, both struck with a sudden, unexplained lung capacity…

Facing one another are two tongues, slowly swelling and suddenly surging in movements suggestive of speech. The animations move to a recorded spoken text, which narrates the relationship between Sissy and Lyle. These two characters embody the sibilants hush and hiss. Living on opposite sides of a house, they compete and antagonise one another, their aggression building until they lose control and are consumed by sound.

Tension is created through sound and rhythm, between the spoken text’s physicality and momentum and the meditative, calm motions of the objects. Spoken word and image alternate between meaning and materiality, creating a play with sibilants that culminates in a cannibalistic sexual act.

Photo courtesy of Hayo Heye.