The overarching structural and conceptual framework of Subotzky’s film installation derives from the letter Y (the phonetically-spelt Old English ‘wye’ of the title), whose shape has traditionally lent itself to a variety of practical applications, from railroad construction to mechanical and electrical engineering. Adapting it for artistic purposes, Subotzky envisages an imaginary cartographic triangle enveloping the United Kingdom, and two of its former colonies, South Africa and Australia, its exterior sides etched by the migration of people over centuries. In drafting a Y shape into the middle of this triangle and elevating it into a third dimension, the artist admits the imaginary space for a new fictional narrative in which these three countries converge across time and space. A narrative structure for WYE is thus harnessed which spans three temporalities – historical, contemporary and futuristic – and three disparate colonial experiences: English, Australian and South African.
Resonate had the privilege of collaborating with Mikhael not only in sound designing this film, but also mixing this piece as an installation, with a complex 3-center matrix and revolving sound mix process.