‘Attrib.’ by Eley Williams

‘Attrib.’ tells the story of a foley artist whose surroundings conspire to interrupt the production of a soundscape intended to glorify Michelangelo’s masterworks. In quirks and quips, it calls out the uneven distribution of power that maintains the effacement of certain populations, raising questions about who gets to name and attribute meaning, who gets to express themselves, and who gets to be recognised as a creator. It also gives a joyful and hilarious demonstration of an artist’s power to disrupt and provoke change. 

[Williams’s collection also boasts the startling and beautiful ‘Smote’ (or ‘When I find I cannot kiss you in front of a print by Bridget Riley’). ‘Attrib.’ made the anthology because visual art made a place for it in my mind before the story was written; in 1996, I encountered Foley Artist by Tacita Dean, and discovered what a foley artist is and does. 

Many thanks to Sophie Haydock for introducing me to ‘Attrib.’ through The Word Factory Short Story Club.]

Collected in Attrib. and Other Stories, Influx, 2017

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